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Platypuses In Captivity
Robert Eadie, the "Platypus Man," credited Ornithorhynchus with a very keen sense of hearing: "He can pick up sounds which are extremely faint, and becomes immediately alert, and often 'submerges rapidly." This refers to "Splash," the famous platypus of Glen Eadie, Healesville , Victoria , which Mr. Eadie t am ed and kept under observation in an artificial habitat termed a platypussary : In 1910, Harry Burrell placed on view at Sydney 's Zoological Gardens the first living duck-bill to become an inmate of a zoo.
The Glen Eadie platypussary had new features; and it suited the needs of its sole occupant so well that he settled down and became tame enough to tolerate and even welcome visitors. More than 10,000 people had seen "Splash" in his artificial home before his happy life ended — an event reported in the press. "Splash" had cost his owner £ 150, money expended chiefly on his food, which consisted of earth-worms, beetles, grubs, prawns, and . hen eggs beaten into pulp.
"Splash" died a month after his fourth birthday at Glen Eadie. His record stay in captivity was broken by "Jack" and "Jill", at the Sir Colin Mackenzie Sanctuary, Healesville. They were the first platypuses to breed in captivity. Early in 1951 Jack completed his twelfth year as a star exhibit at the sanctuary; and "Corrie," his daughter, was still there, alive and well.
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