Police say the mammal was removed from its natural habitat in northern Queensland and should be “chest (chest)” as soon as possible.
“We are concerned for the welfare of this animal, which has been removed from its natural habitat.”Queensland Police Commissioner Scott Knowles told reporters.
The authorities have also expressed concerns about the kidnappers: the male platypus is venomous and has a spur that causes excruciating pain when in contact with human flesh.
CCTV images taken on Tuesday show a man in flip-flops walking on the platform of North Brisbane train station while holding a platypus – the size of a small cat – under his arm.
Then the man and woman wrapped the animal in a bath towel, “by clicking on it and showing it to other passengers”the police said.
Taking platypuses from the wild is prohibited by Queensland’s Conservation Act, subject to a penalty of A$430,000 (€264,000) in fines.
The platypus, a shy, nocturnal animal, and one of the rare mammals that lay eggs, is now found only in eastern Australia. It feeds on worms, insects and small crustaceans.
With a short tail like a beaver and a duck’s beak, British scientists thought it was a hoax when they first saw it in the late 18th century.