How a rescued platypus called Matilda in honour of World Cup stars lived up to the meaning of her name by winning her fight for life
How a rescued platypus named Matilda, honoring World Cup stars, lived up to the meaning of her name by winning her fight for life
- Puggle was found in a dire situation when he was four months old
- Four months later, she is out of danger and doing well
- WATCH: ‘It All Begins’ – Episode 1 – The brand new football show from Mail Sport
A rescued female platypus being cared for at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo has been named Matilda after the Australian team that finished fourth in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The puggle was about four months old when she was admitted to Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital in April. She was in bad shape and weighed only 280 grams.
Found under a bush on the NSW Central Coast, Matilda was frail, severely malnourished and covered in ticks, compromising her waterproofness, making it difficult for her to swim and survive on her own.
Thanks to the 24-hour care provided by Taronga’s Platypus team, she now weighs 694 grams and eats and forages on her own.
Matilda – also known as ‘Tilly’ – even impressed NSW Prime Minister Chris Minns when she fought back after being found severely malnourished and covered in ticks
The name ‘Matilda’ roughly translates from German as ‘mighty in battle’ – making it a fitting handle for Sam Kerr and her teammates, and the little Australian animal
Zoo staff hand-fed her six times a day for two months — and now, at about eight months old, she’s out of danger.
The name Matilda comes from the German word ‘Mahthildis’, meaning ‘mighty in battle’ – a fitting handle for both the football team and the tough little Australian beast.
Tilly would have weighed a minuscule 1.5 ounces when she hatched from an egg the size of a marble. She then spent four months drinking her mother’s milk in the safety of the nesting den,” explains Taronga Wildlife Hospital vet Dr. Jess Whinfield.
“After emerging, she learned very quickly to swim and find her food — not by using sight, sound, or smell, but by using her beak to detect the small amounts of electricity her invertebrate prey produces. ‘
Even NSW Prime Minister Chris Minns was impressed by Tilly’s fight for life.
The little platypus has displayed the same kind of spirit that propelled the Matildas during their incredible World Cup run
“We are incredibly proud of the Matildas and the spirit they have shown throughout the Women’s World Cup and Tilly is a symbol of that perseverance,” he said.
“We know their legacy will be remembered for generations and now one of our most iconic native animals bears the same name.”
Last month, animal rescue group WIRES partnered with the zoo to protect the species.
“The care required for platypus rehabilitation is complex and specialized. The need for this type of facility cannot be underestimated and will really support our post-rescue work,” said Leanne Taylor, CEO of WIRES.