Police arrested a man linked to a platypus taken from its natural habitat Tuesday morning.
The search for a man and woman, as well as the platypus, was sparked after the pair were caught on CCTV showing the creature to people on a train.
Police said the couple boarded a train at Murrayfield station in Queensland with the animal wrapped in a towel, petted and shown to fellow travelers.
It was then alleged that they took it to the King Street Shopping Center in Kabulture where they allegedly showed it to more of the public.
The animal was allegedly released from the wild in Moreton, Queensland, at around 11am on Tuesday.
A 26-year-old man was arrested for the incident and charged with one count each of a first-degree offense for protected animals and restraining the keeping or use of a first-degree offense for protected animals.
The illegal capture and preservation of platypuses from the wild is a Class 1 offense under Section 88 of the Nature Conservation Act 1992, which is punishable by a maximum fine of $288,077.
A woman has spoken to the police and investigations are ongoing.
Police said the animal was released into the Capulture River, far from where it was taken.
He has not yet been located by the authorities and his condition remains unknown.
A platypus may become sick, sick, or die the longer it is outside its natural environment.
The story of the accident spread around the world and made headlines in the United States, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Anyone who sees a sick or injured platypus is urged to report it to the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) or to the Department of Environment and Science (DES) on 1300 130372.
And the police urged everyone who deals with it not to feed it or introduce it to a new environment because it could endanger people or animals.
A police spokesperson said: “Taking platypuses from the wild is not only illegal, but can be dangerous to both the displaced animal and the person involved if the platypus is male, because they have toxic outgrowths.”
Platypus venom is not fatal to humans, but it causes severe pain.
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