8 Feb 2013

Tickling a platypus!

Jemimah and I had the most awesomely spectacular experience today. We tickled a platypus at Healesville Sanctuary. Yep. a platypus. No, not the lovely carved one that Jemimah is practicing on above, a real life one. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so even though the photos are not very impressive, I thought I'd share them with you anyway. I hope that's okay.

There were just the three of us in the pool - Jemimah, me, and Platypus Keeper, Jess. Oh sorry, four. Two year old Yarmi was there as well! Yarmi's name means something like 'female water spirit' in the Woi Wurrung language spoken by the local Wurundjeri people, and she was rescued at the mouth of a river as she was being swept out to sea. She was severely malnourished. Yarmi is the best natured of all Healesville Sanctuary's platypus/platypuses/platypi/platypodes, and she loves spending time with people playing, frolicking, eating blackworms, and being tickled. We were happy to oblige!

I don't know what to say about how wonderful this encounter was. We examined her cute, rubbery beak, exclaimed over her webbed feet and learned how she tucks up the webs behind her claws when she needs to burrow, tickled her cute belly, fed her wriggly blackworms, laughed at her funny antics, learned about platypus behaviour in the wild and in captivity, learned the Aboriginal creation legend, and much more.

I'm out of superlatives, but I'm guessing that you get the idea. Just amazing.

We did some other lovely things today as well, but I'll save them for another post, because they sort of pale into insignificance alongside Yarmi.

She was just incredible.



  1. How absolutely fabulous!!!!

  2. That's incredible! what an awesome opportunity!!! Now I have to follow up with a book recommendation;) Have you read Shy the Platypus- Leslie Rees?

  3. That definitely would of been fun. :o)

  4. What a fantastic experience. We were supposed to go to Healesville Sanctuary last visit to Melbourne so it's on the list for next time. I will be keen to see what else you got up to to add that to the list too now ... ;)

  5. That is so neat! My children would love that! A little far to travel for us, though.

    I'm a new follower. I found you through the AO Forum.

  6. That is so neat!! We were discussing these amazing creatures recently, and got online to get a look at some. We were surprised to find that they are much smaller than we had imagined, and just so incredibly cute when swimming. I have to say I'm a bit jealous!


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