A Tasmanian woman who was spurred by a platypus while trying to save it has described the pain as “excruciating” and said it felt like her head “was gonna explode.”
Jenny Forward thought she was doing a noble thing last week when she pulled over to the side of the road in Kingston, Hobart, to help a platypus which had become trapped in a gutter.
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She had feared it had been run over by a car and was injured.
As soon as she picked up the animal however, she felt a sharp pain in her hand.
She’d been pierced by the marsupial’s venomous spurs.
“I picked up this cute little wriggly platypus, next thing you know it twisted round (and) impaled both its spurs on either side of my right hand,” Forward said.
“I couldn’t actually get the platypus off my hand because it was stuck on there.”
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According to the Tasmanian government’s Natural Resources and Environment department, only male platypuses have spurs.
They’re located on the inside of the animal’s hind legs and “produce a powerful venom”.
The venom can kill other animals, but not humans.
Terry Forward was spurred by a platypus while trying to rescue it last week. Credit: 7NEWS
However, Forward still described the pain as an “excruciating” burning sensation that started in her hand and eventually consumed her whole body.
“My head felt like it was gonna explode,” she said.
“It was quite instantaneous.”
Forward was forced to pull the spurs out of her hand and said she instinctively wanted to throw the platypus away.
The male platypus was eventually taken by Bonorong Wildlife Rescue volunteers. Credit: 7NEWS
Instead, she carried on with the task she initially intended to do, and put the animal in her car, so it could get checked out.
She somehow managed to get herself home, which was only a few minutes away.
“I don’t know how I got home, the pain was so bad, I had to drive with one hand,” Forward said.
A friend rushed Forward to hospital, where she was treated by doctors and sent home several days later.
The platypus was eventually rescued from Forward’s car by Bonorong Wildlife Rescue volunteers and then released back into the wild.
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