Australian woman suffers a painful spurring while "rescuing" a platypus that didn't need rescuing

Jenny Forward, from Kingston, Tasmania, was driving home recently when she spotted a platypus on the side of the road. Thinking the poor creature had been hit by a car or was otherwise injured, Forward jumped into action to get it to safety. As soon as she grabbed it, however, she felt a stabbing pain in her hand that she described to Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) as "excrutiating" and "worse than childbirth." The pain didn't deter her from rescuing the platypus, though—she put him in her car and then headed to Royal Hobart Hospital, where she was given pain medication and antibiotics, and underwent emergency surgery to clean and suture her wounds.

Turns out the platypus had "spurred" her. ABC explains:

Male platypuses have spurs on their hind limbs that can deliver a dose of venom if under attack or to a competitor during mating season.

The venom is resistant to most pain relief and can result in excruciating pain for those on the receiving end.

Such injuries are rare, thankfully. What's more, most platypus don't need to be touched or handled if they're just waddling along the side of the road (as long as it's not too close to the cars whizzing by), near a ditch or drain. If you spot one and have doubts about its safety, take a video or photo and ask a wildlife rescue organization how to proceed. The one in question wasn't injured or in danger—he's now been released back where he was found.

Did Jenny Forward learn a lesson? Perhaps. She told ABC, "I will be very careful next time I try to rescue a platypus."