Heartbreaking photos reveal cause of Rocky platypus' death
DEVASTATING images of a platypus bound and killed by injuries from a rubber band have surfaced on the Wildlife Rockhampton Facebook page.
The shocking photos show the band tangled tight around the animal's neck, and under its to left flipper, clearly cutting into its flesh.
Wildlife Rockhampton shared their heartbreak over the animal's death last night, speculating it would have been restricted in movement, unable to hunt and growing weaker every day.
"I really don't know where to start and how to present you this. I think I just be honest and tell you how it is," they posted about 8pm last night.
"Wildlife Rockhampton received a phone call today from a very concerned gentleman that advised me that he found deceased platypus near a creek in Rockhampton.
"I went to check him out and this is what I observed.
"Platypus died from the injury caused by a rubber band. The innocent rubber band that ended up in the creek.
"Did she think it was a worm? Did she play with it, swam through it and got tangled. We will never know.
"When I think how she was trying to free herself from the rubber that was cutting into her flesh. How restricted she was in her movement, unable to hunt and got weaker and weaker every day."
"Rubber bands. They sell them in a packet of hundreds in shops. The one platypus that was found. How many affected animals we don't see?
"One thing for sure - I will never look at a rubber band the same way again!
"Please, don't litter our waterways, our city, our country!
"One rubber band... One platypus..."
It is unknown which creek the animal was found near, but the incident doesn't appear to be isolated.
Commenter Vickii Lett said she had rescued a platypus from a small creek in Kurrajong, west of Sydney, which had a rubber band caught "exactly the same way, under one leg and around the neck".
"Luckily we got to this one in time as it had just started to cut in, we released it downstream in a safer spot," she posted.
The animal's death has struck a chord with the more than 100 people who commented, many of whom have shared their own suggestions to reduce waste.
Janet Biemond: How dreadful. I always put rubbish in the bin, and anything like this, I cut it, the same with the plastic seals you get around the top of tablet containers etc.. At least by cutting it, it will be less harmful, should it ever get into the environment - which I hope it doesn't, but it takes a second to cut things with scissors so that they are less harmful. I've taught my son to do it too.
Tala K Locus: Our property has a creek and I have to go down with a trash bag all the time and pick things out of it for this reason. Ducks, fish and even a great blue heron! There are so many beautiful animals yet people use that creek like a waste bin! Terrible! Thanks for posting!
Jo Stoyel: Always cut rubber bands bottle top rings before discarding if it can't be avoided all together. This is just so sad.
Natalee Szekeres said, "We are all part of this poor unique creature's demise", after sharing her family's decision to use stainless steel straws instead of plastic, and use containers instead of buying individually wrapped products. She said it was a matter of "just one change at a time".
Wildlife Rescue fundraiser:
The Wildlife Rescue Rockhampton are holding a sausage sizzle from 10am to 2pm today at Rocky Pet World at the Redhill Homemakers Centre on Yaamba Rd.
The volunteer-run organisation relies on funds from donations, membership and support from fundraising activities.
The group care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife, and rescue across Livingstone and Rockhampton.