A Baby Platypus (Called A Puggle!!) Is Being Celebrated As A ‘Miracle’ In This Rewilding Project

An adorable bébé platypus has become a ‘yuge beacon of hope, as her discovery marked a massive milestone in New South Wales‘ first-ever translocation program for platypuses.

In amazing news, a six-month-old puggle (the name to describe baby platypuses) named Gilli was discovered in the Hacking River in the Royal National Park, located south of Sydney. As per ABC News, the adorable duck-billed baby is the first of its kind to be found in the national park in more than 50 years.

But what makes this discovery even more remarkable is that it’s believed that Gilli is a descendant of 10 platypuses who were re-homed in the Royal National Park.

The translocation program — conducted by researchers from the University of NSW Sydney, Taronga Conservation Society Australia and WWF Australia — aimed to relocate these monotremes in hopes of repopulating, re-establishing and diversifying the wild platypus population. So, of course, this discovery signifies a big, shiny beacon of hope!!!

Or, to put it in pop culture terms, Gilli is like the Rey (from Star Wars) of the platypus world.


In a statement released by the Taronga Conservation Society, UNSW conservation scientist and project lead Dr Gilad Bino described the discovery as a “success”.

“Finding the juvenile platypus is a clear sign the reintroduced population is not just surviving but thriving, adapting well to their environment, and contributing to the genetic diversity and resilience of this iconic species,” he said.

“The success of this reintroduction underscores the vital role that targeted conservation actions, such as translocations, rescues, and reintroductions, play in the preservation of the platypus across its range.”

(Image source: Getty Images / Mark Metcalfe)

WWF Australia’s Rob Brewster added that the project “embodies what ‘rewilding’ is”.

“Proof of successful breeding is about much more than the happy news of discovering a healthy juvenile platypus,” Brewster said.

“The community coming together and saying that we don’t accept species and ecosystem decline. That we can return those vital missing elements that make our world so interesting to us all”.

Tests are still being conducted to determine if the puggle of hope is from those relocated platypuses, however, researchers are confident that she is descended from the project. Regardless, it’s a blessing because it is the first platypus of its kind to be seen in the Royal National Park in more than 50 years.

Minister for Climate Change and the Environment Penny Sharpe highlighted the biodiversity crisis in NSW and how this re-homing program is an example of how things can change.

“We need to protect all the different species living within this unique landscape. Programs like this show us it is possible to bring animals back from the brink, and what we learn here will be applied across NSW in the future,” Sharpe said.

Platypuses are one of the most iconic Australian native animals on this planet. The beloved duck-billed monotremes are so unique to Down Under that it was one of the mascots for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

It’s so beautiful to hear that the efforts to bring them back to the wild are working. Manifesting a bountiful year of boning for our duck-billed pals.