Macadamia Castle welcomes surprise new visitor
ONE of Australia’s most unusual and beloved species has found its way into the very full pond at the Macadamia Castle - the shy platypus.
In late February 2019, a wild platypus arrived at the Macadamia Castle, brought in by storms related to Cyclone Oma.
The staff of the Animal Park named this platypus Oma and he stayed around feasting on yabbies for a few weeks before moving on.
A Macadamia Castle spokeswoman said staff were again delighted to find a different platypus had taken up residence over this past weekend, possibly due to the storms brought in by Cyclone Uesi.
She said they have again named the platypus after the weather event, and she said ‘Platypus Uesi’ is a younger and smaller platypus than the previous visitor.
Platypus mostly eat invertebrates: swimming beetles and water bugs, insect larvae, tadpoles, worms, snails and shrimp.
She said the pond at the Macadamia Castle has been overflowing with tadpoles and freshly morphed frogs of late and “there is no doubt Uesi has noticed”.
“We are delighted to have this visitor, who is clearly enjoying our crystal clear pond, and are pleased we are able to provide a safe place for such an amazing animal to spend some time after what has been a week of wild weather,” she said.
Macadamia Castle owner Tony Gilding said the park “must be one of the very few animal parks that has a wild platypus visible to guests”.
“We are giving the platypus lots of space to make itself comfortable and hope he or she might stay around for a while,” Mr Gilding said.
“Our keepers are regularly keeping an eye on it to make sure it is healthy and doing well.”
While platypus are nocturnal and elusive, Mr Gilding said if you plan to visit him at the Macadamia Castle, there are some tips to increase your chances of seeing him.
- Ask keepers if they have seen the platypus recently and where.
- Find a comfortable place near the pond and grab a snack or a coffee.
- Look for ‘mud clouds’ appearing on the surface of the pond followed by air bubbles.