WATCH: Tourist snaps platypuses mating at Eungella
AN ITALIAN tourist has captured a highly sought-after video of platypuses mating at Eungella National Park.
The footage shows the monotremes flipping about in the water, seemingly engaged in a play fight at first glance.
Broken River Visitor Information Centre's Oskar Krobath uploaded the video, shot by Francesco Bagnaschi, on the weekend of August 4-5 to Facebook on August 6.
Mr Krobath, who manages the information centre and its cafe, said the video had been shot at Broken River about lunchtime.
He believes "professionals have been chasing" similar footage, but they were pipped to the post on this occasion by Mr Bagnashchi.
Mr Krobath said Mr Bagnashchi has since left the Mackay region to continue his travels.
"He was just down there at the very right time, it's very lucky," Mr Krobath said between a flurry of cafe customers.
In his Facebook post, Mr Krobath said the river's platypus had been "very active throughout the day".
"Eungella/Broken River is the best place in the world to see the platypus in its natural habitat," he wrote.
Mr Krobath said the platypus mating season occurred between June and October, when males and females were about two years of age.
"After successfully mating, two or three eggs develop in the female. After about a month, the female lays the eggs, which are soft like lizard eggs," he wrote.
"After mating, the female will ignore all other mating attempts during that breeding season, and the male may go on to find other females to mate with.
"Interestingly, the platypus is one of only two types of mammals (the other being the echidna) that lay eggs."
Mackay Tourism shared the video on its Visit Mackay Facebook page on Wednesday, evidently thrilled by the footage.
"Last week we shared incredible footage of whales at Mackay Harbour, the week prior wallabies mock-fighting at Cape Hillsborough," the post read.
"Today's video may top them both, certainly for rarity, as it features two platypus mating.
"A unique national icon, platypus are normally rare, but are a common sight in the pristine waters of Broken River, part of the Eungella National Park.
"Thanks to Francesco Bagnaschi and @visitpioneervalley for this spectacular video."
Broken River, in Eungella National Park, is roughly a one-hour drive through the Pioneer Valley, west of Mackay.
It includes a number of decks and viewing platforms and is often cited as one of the most reliable spots in the country to spot a platypus in its natural environment.