Take a gander at this adorable baby platypus—also known as a "puggle"—who is being rehabilitated at the Taronga Wildlife Hospital at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. In the video that was posted on their social media, Taronga Zoo explains:
We are delighted to introduce you to the newest member of our Taronga family – Matilda.
Named in honour of our much-loved women's soccer team and their record-breaking representation at the FIFA Women's World Cup.
Matilda, nicknamed "Tilly" for short, was around four months old when she was admitted to Taronga's Wildlife Hospital.
She was in poor condition and weighed only 280 grams.
Tilly was found under a bush on the NSW Central Coast and was weak, malnourished, and covered in ticks, all of which compromised her waterproofing, making it difficult for her to swim and survive on her own.
Thanks to attentive, around-the-clock care from Taronga's expert Platypus team who hand-fed her six times a day for two months, she started to improve.
Matilda, who is now approximately eight months old, is eating and foraging on her own and recently weighed in at 694 grams.
Matilda means 'bold, battlefield warrior' and this little puggle continues to from strength to strength.
Taronga Zoo also posted an article about the new puggle, which provides more information. The article quotes Taronga Wildlife Hospital veterinary resident Dr. Jess Whinfield, who shares insights into the caring of a young platypus:
"Each platypus we treat, and especially those that need intensive care like Matilda, offers an insight into their species and what we need to do to help them thrive.
Tilly would have weighed a tiny 1.5 grams when she hatched from an egg the size of a marble. She then spent four months drinking her mother's milk in the safety of the nesting burrow.
After emerging, she has very quickly learned to swim and find her food – not by using sight, sound, or smell, but by using her bill to detect the tiny amounts of electricity her invertebrate prey produces.
Everyone can help protect platypuses in the wild by responsibly disposing of fishing equipment and picking up rubbish – especially items such as hair ties and rubber bands which platypuses can become entangled in."
I love watching Tilly swimming and cavorting—she looks like she's doing really well! Go, Tilly, go!