Zoos Victoria

Use phosphate-free detergents and cleaning products

Act Now for the platypus

What else can you do?

  • Get Dirty and help clean up your local waterways.
  • Go home-made and harm-free by making your own natural all purpose cleaner.
  • Fishing? Reel in your impacts and ensure your discarded line does not end up in our waterways.
  • Use your Bill and get creative to spread the word about how to help Platypus.

Platypus are unique Australians.
While common in Eastern Australia most people will never see a platypus; as they only wake for early sunrise and sunset.
To describe them, think of an animal with the bill of a duck, a tail of a beaver and the feet of an otter. Instead of giving birth to live young like most mammals, platypus lays eggs!
Next, imagine a venomous spur attached to the males hind legs, and finally picture an animal that can catch half its body weight in food each day by picking up electrical pulses! Now that's impressive!

Platypus and echidnas are the also the world's only remaining monotremes (egg-laying mammals).


  • Platypus have 'electroreceptors' to zoom in on faint electrical pulses given off by their invertebrate prey.

  • Males are slightly bigger than females, at about 60cm long, and have a venomous spur on their hind leg.

  • Platypus can eat over half their body weight in yabbies every day!

  • Platypus are most active at dawn and dusk, and spend up to 17 hours a day resting in their burrow.

  • Female playtpus feed milk to their young through pores in their skin.

  • Their burrow is usually 5-9 metres long but can be up to 20 metres long.


No one would like swimming around in polluted water and platypus are the same.
Farming, damming, altered drainage, and chemical pollutants continue to degrade the habitat of platypus.
Phosphates are in most of our household detergents and cleaning products and they find their way into our local waterways. This promotes the growth of algae which chokes the waterways and prevents other plants and animals from living there including invertebrates that are food for platypus.
Another recent threat to Platypus is illegal fish and yabby traps.

At our Zoos...

  • Melbourne Zoo
  • Healesville Sanctuary

In the Wild...

  • Victoria
  • New South Wales
  • Tasmania
  • Southern Queensland
  • North Queensland