It’s winter in Australia, time for platypuses to go sledding! As strange as that sounds, that’s exactly what a pair of backcountry skiers witnessed when they were out snow camping.
Mark Oates and his traveling companion Jen were out on in Tasmania, Australia when they spotted the furry animal. “Pretty sure this Tasmanian platypus thought it was a penguin,” Oates joked on Instagram. “It confidentially slid on its belly down a slope right past Jen and I whilst we were ski-touring the other day on.”
The duck-billed platypus looked pretty determined to get where it was going and takes no notice of them while it waddles right by them before sliding on its belly down the snowy slope.
Oates shared that on their 4-day trip they had seen platypuses a few times. “I’ve seen a platypus happily foraging in the snow a number of times now and in this area regularly see their webbed footprints in the snow as they explore the numerous creek lines and tarns in the area looking for invertebrates,” he confided.
The icy conditions seem far away from where you think a platypus lives.
Said Oates, “It is incredible how comfortable they are in such a cold and seemingly inhospitable environment. Definitely one of our highlights of last weekend.”
Oates later told the Dodo, “We were incredibly surprised that it was heading straight towards us. I always presumed that [platypuses] would make their way down below the snow-line in winter, but here in Tasmania I don’t think this is the case. I certainly had not seen one slide on its stomach like it did. Very cool moment to witness.”