An Australian man has been charged with kidnapping a platypus and showing it off around town. The 26-year-old, whose name has not been released, is accused of capturing a platypus in the state of Queensland, taking it on a train in Brisbane, and then toting it around a shopping center to show it off.
“According to the report that was provided to [authorities], they were showing it off to people on the train, allowing people to pat it,” said Scott Knowles, of the Queensland Police, according to the BBC.
The platypus has allegedly been released to a local waterway, but authorities haven’t been able to locate it, according to a report from The New York Times. The platypus-napper is scheduled to appear in court on Saturday and could face a fine of up to $289,000—the maximum penalty for the “’take and keep’ of a wild platypus,” the Times wrote.
In security images, the man can be seen holding the platypus, accompanied by a woman who is reportedly cooperating with authorities. While the platypus looks adorable and chihuahua-sized in the images, they’re actually the opposite of snuggly. Male platypus have venomous spurs on their feet that can cause nausea, “whole-body” pain, and swelling in human victims, according to the University of Melbourne. Those symptoms could last for weeks on end, and potentially even months.Platypus are only found in the wild in Australia, in and around rivers. They’re one of the world’s most curious beings. They’ve got a bill like a duck, webbed feet that resemble an otter’s, a beaver-esque tail, and a furry body. They’re one of only two types of mammals that lay eggs. The other is the echidna, also known as a “spiny anteater,” which also lives in Australia.