The Platypus @ The San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Now @ Walkabout Australia!

By Courtney Daly-Pavone January 16, 2020

*The article is a 2 minute read.

I went on a quest with my son to meet the platypus, the newest resident of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.  The platypus is found only in Australia, and for the first time you don't have to travel Down Under to see one. Thankfully, the world famous San Diego Zoo Safari Park has two platypuses at Walkabout Australia. My kid was so excited to meet this animal, that he brought two of his platypuses from his vast animal collection on the trip!

What Makes The Platypus So Special?

First of all, I don't want to down play the platypuses neighbors at the Safari Park, the kangaroos, wallabies, and cassowaries (to name a few), but the platypus is an egg laying mammal!

There are only two egg laying mammals on earth- the platypus and the echidna both anomalies in nature. 

You might scuff, "Birds lay eggs not mammals," but there are two living mammals that lay eggs, and they are the only surviving members of the order Monotremata. 

Nerd Alert! I must confess, the platypus was on my bucket list- Check!

We went to the Safari Park on a weekday, and avoided long lines to see the platypus. It's enclosure is dark since the platypus is a nocturnal animal. The two platypuses at the exhibit are quite active swimmers and it was hard to capture them on film. I did my best to photograph them, my pictures might look like grainy surveillance video, but this only peaked my interest.

I like to think the platypus likes to remain mysterious, especially with it's ghost like silhouette. We stalked it like paparazzi and were not alone. Everyone was in awe of this creature waiting to catch a glimpse. We learned that male platypuses have sharp stingers on the heels of their rear feet that are venomous. They have a bendable duckbill, and webbed feet. They have tails like beavers, and fur like otters. Their eyes and nose plug up when they are under water, and they are bottom feeders. 

After meeting the Safari Parks latest member, we wandered around the park and entered the Baja Garden & Old World Succulent Garden and lastly Condor Ridge.  The Baja Garden has more than 200 boojums, making this the largest collection of these plants outside their native habitat. We also took in the beauty of agaves, yuccas, and palms. Between the two gardens, there are more than 200 species represented. Turkey vultures swarmed over our heads, as we basked in nature. It was an ample supply of Vitamin D that day set in the majestic valley of the San Pasqual Mountains

Thank you San Diego Zoo Safari Park for another wonderful experience! 

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