AN UNUSUAL neighbour popped into Lyndell Abela's Eton backyard looking for some water.

Charmed by its dark fur and a wide bill, Ms Abela said she was surprised to see the little platypus waddling through her garden in Drapers Siding.

Their cane farm has had visits from waddling turtles, lanky emus, scurrying echidnas and scavenging bandicoots, but Ms Abela this was her first platypus sighting.

"It's great to see that they're out and about," she said.

It was the long dry season that forced the little fella out of his home in Draper Creek, Ms Abela said.

"It only runs when there's plenty of rain," she said

With the creek dry, Ms Abela said the platypus was making the journey to find a new watery home.

But the long journey could have ended tragically.

The nearest running creek is 800m away, and Ms Abela said the platypus needed a helping hand.

"He looked like he was on a mission," she said, "but it's better he's not picked off by predators".

Scooping him up in a blue bucket, Ms Abela carried him to the flowing waters of Sandy Creek last Tuesday.

"He's in a happy place now," she said.

 

Eton resident Lyndell Abela discovered this little platypus in her yard after the water in Draper Creek dried up. She took it to Sandy Creek and released it.
Eton resident Lyndell Abela discovered this little platypus in her yard after the water in Draper Creek dried up. She took it to Sandy Creek and released it.

 

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For the past few months, Ms Abela said her yard has been bordered by predators, as packs of wild dogs and cats stalking around the Eton region.

Ms Abela said she was worried to see more of the feral animals in cane country.

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The last time a pack of wild dogs was active in the region, Ms Abela said, she noticed a radical drop in the number of bandicoots visiting her yard.

Two months ago Mackay Regional Council announced a round of baiting and trapping to catch a pack of wild dogs who were circling the Walkerston town centre.

Ms Abela worries that the return of the feral animals would destroy the little native sanctuary in her own backyard.

The arrival of each native visitor was part of the joy of living on a rural property, Ms Abela said.

"It adds a bit of excitement to your life," she said.


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