San Diego Zoo Welcomes Quirky New Arrivals: Platypuses

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One of two platypuses that recently moved into the San Diego Zoo is seen in a Nov. 19, 2019, photo released by the park.

One of two platypuses that recently moved into the San Diego Zoo is seen in a Nov. 19, 2019, photo released by the park.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has a pair of quirky new arrivals from Australia: platypuses.

The zoo on Friday publicly debuted an 8-year-old male named Birrarung and a 15-year-old female named Eve.

The pair were flown to the park late last month.

The zoo says it’s the first time in more than 50 years that platypuses — egg-laying mammals with furry bodies and duck-like bills — have been cared for outside of Australia.

Safari Park’s lead keeper, Lori Hieber, says the pair have settled into their new, specially built habitat. She says they swim in the pools, play in the waterfalls and hunt live crayfish.

An international conservation group lists the platypus as a “near threatened” species, mainly from habitat loss and the potential destruction from climate change.

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