A platypus stabbed an Australian woman who tried to help it. The animal used the spurs on its hind legs to inject the woman with venom. Although the poison of these mammals is not dangerous to health, it can cause severe pain.
A resident of Kingston, Tasmania, was returning home when she noticed something disturbing. A platypus was lying motionless in a roadside canal. The woman was afraid that the animal had been hit by a car, so she decided to go to help it.
A failed rescue operation
The Australian woman grabbed the platypus with her bare hands when she suddenly felt excruciating pain in her hand. The animal perceived the attempt to help as an attack and stuck poisonous spurs on its hind limbs into the woman’s body.
– It was as if someone stabbed me with a knife. The pain was excruciating, definitely worse than during childbirth, she told Australian broadcaster ABC News.
Despite the pain, the Australian woman carried the platypus to the car and then called for help – for herself and the animal. In the hospital, the woman received painkillers, and the wound caused by the platypus was stitched. According to the woman, she experienced swelling and stabbing pain a week after the incident.
A rare case
As Lori Coulson, a toxicologist from the New South Wales Poison Information Center, told ABC News, platypus poison, although it causes excruciating pain, does not spread throughout the body.
The Australian Platypus Conservation Organization said on social media that male platypuses – the only ones with venomous spines – are rarely aggressive if picked up properly, by the middle part of the tail. Poisoning usually occurs when a person accidentally touches an animal that instinctively defends itself.
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