Woman hospitalized after rare platypus poisoning incident

Written by Henrik Rothen

Oct.21 - 2023 10:29 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Woman hospitalized after rare platypus poisoning incident.

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In Australia, Jenny Forward found a platypus that seemed injured on the side of a road near Kingston.

Trying to help the semi-aquatic mammal, she grabbed it without any protective gear. The result was a painful injection of venom into her hand, leading to her hospitalization and ongoing intense pain.

This is reported by Australian ABC.

Rarity of platypus poisoning

According to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, platypus poisoning cases are extremely rare in Australia, with fewer than five reported in the last two decades.

Medical teams often have to consult scientific literature for treatment protocols, as none currently exist for such cases. Although painful, platypus venom is not fatal to humans.

The venom's Impact

Platypus venom doesn't spread throughout the body and remains localized, causing no systemic manifestations like fever or nausea.

Standard treatments involve symptom relief and wound cleaning.

"It was like someone had stabbed [my hand] with a knife," Forward described her experience, adding that the pain was "definitely worse than childbirth."

What to do if you encounter a platypus

Experts advise that if you find a possibly injured platypus, it's best to take photos and videos and send them to wildlife rescue teams.

The animal should be isolated but not touched while waiting for professionals. In Jenny Forward's case, despite the intense pain, she didn't give up on the animal and sought help for both herself and the platypus.

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