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Can You Have A Platypus As A Pet?

Due to the huge success of the Tiger King TV show on Netflix, there has been a spike in the number of people reaching out and asking questions about keeping their own exotic pets.

We have seen some very obscure questions recently about keeping some very strange pets with one of the more frequently asked being if you can have a platypus as a pet or not.

With such a surprisingly high number of people reaching out and asking about keeping a platypus as a pet recently, we have decided to publish this article going over the various ins and outs of the platypus for our readers.

After a little investigating, we noticed that there are some people in Australia on social media and YouTube releasing content saying that they have a pet platypus too showing the platypus in their videos and photographs leading to even more people asking about keeping a pet platypus.

We feel that this is only going to result in more people reaching out about keeping a pet platypus in the future so hope that this article will be able to help as many of our readers as possible.

On top of that, we see a number of different questions relating to keeping a platypus as a pet so we have decided to try and answer them all in this article. Our table of contents below should be able to help you quickly and easily skim the article for the information that you are looking for too.

Can You Have A Platypus As A Pet?

It is illegal to keep a platypus as a pet in Australia and there are extremely strict export laws for platypus too making it very difficult to legally keep a platypus as a pet in any other country that may not specifically ban the keeping of platypus as pets too.

That said, there are a number of people in Australia who live near a body of water that has platypus in it and they feed them but these are still wild animals.

This is where there are videos on YouTube and photographs on social media of people who have a “pet platypus” when the platypus is actually wild.

Even the feeding on wild platypus is heavily discouraged and can sometimes result in a fine in some parts of Australia too but people still do it on a regular basis.

The demand for a pet platypus was even higher back in the 1990’s and 2000’s with the illegal pet trade smuggling a large number of platypus out of Australia to other parts of the world.

This is why there are some photographs of platypus in other locations but they have not been legally exported and various laws protecting animals and preventing their exporting can still punish the people who own these platypus.

Can You Tame A Platypus?

Some people who live near large bodies of water that have platypus living in them have tamed the local platypus population to take food from their hands and come close to humans.

This is why there are a number of videos on social media of people so close to platypus but they are in fact wild and are not pets.

Just like a large number of other animals, if you feed it to build the animals trust up with you over an extended period of time, the platypus will naturally start to let its guard down and trust you more and more.

Over time, this can result in the platypus being tame and depending on how often you feed the wild platypus, may result in it not going off to find its own food.

This is why feeding platypus is heavily discouraged in Australia as the wild platypus population that are fed by humans on a regular basis tend to lose their ability to feed themselves.

With the average platypus requiring between 1/5th and 1/4th of its body weight in food each day, this can be a problem if the food supplied from humans suddenly stops.

Can A Platypus Bite You?

Some platypus has been known to bite humans and although platypus does have venom in their bite, it is not strong enough to harm a human.

The bit of a platypus is generally pain-free and it is often the shock of such a strange-looking animal biting you that takes effect rather than the pain from the actual bite or its venom.

If you are walking your pet dog near an area with wild platypus then we would highly recommend that you keep your dog on a leash and away from the platypus.

It is more likely that a defensive platypus will bite a curious dog and smaller dog breeds can end up being affected by the venom of the platypus too with the death of the dog being a possibility.

Many areas in Australia also have large fines for anyone whose dog kills or attacks a platypus too.

On top of this, many of the waterways in the urban areas of Australia have cameras recording what happens so it is generally easy for law enforcement to find the people responsible.

Is A Platypus Aggressive?

Platypus are not generally aggressive and are usually more focused on trying to find food unless there are baby platypus in the area that they are trying to protect.

There have been instances of people feeding wild platypus and the platypus getting closer and closer to the people to try and get more food but this is not really an attack.

That said, a platypus will defend themselves via biting or the venomous claws if they feel threatened.

This is why loud children and dogs should be kept away from wild platypus if possible as their stress and anxiety levels can sky rocket quickly and increase the chances of the platypus switching from its placid mode to being aggressive.

Thankfully, platypus are generally slow when on land making it very easy for people to get away from the platypus without there being any real threat.

This is one of the reasons that so many people feed wild platypus in Australia even though they shouldn’t as the platypus is highly motivated by food allowing people to tame them and keep them as a sort of pseudo pet in the water near their homes while still legally being classed as a wild platypus.


That brings our article covering if you can have a platypus as a pet or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the laws and regulations to having a pet platypus and that we have helped you understand how the people who upload videos to YouTube of their “pet platypus” are actually just recording tame wild platypus. We understand that platypus are a unique and interesting animal but they do require a huge amount of food and care making them very difficult to keep in captivity and the laws that protect platypus are taken very seriously making it difficult to have an actual pet platypus.