Platypus Builds a Cozy Burrow for Her New Baby

In a heartwarming clip from the PBS series The Platypus Guardian, a platypus named Zoom builds a cozy, light-tight underground burrow for her new platypup on the banks of the Hobart Rivulet in Tasmania. Nature photographer Pete Walsh captured furtive footage of Zoom going back and forth, gathering supplies to give her baby a safe place to grow.

The nest building is like a miracle of nature, in my opinion I didn’t know that Zoom could curl up her tail like that. Her grip needs to be strong to hold onto that vegetation. To see Zoom come out of the water with her full load of nesting materials and then disappear into a tiny burrow, it’s incredible. How does all that stuff even fit in the burrow?

Walsh set up several other cameras in hopes to see the little pup make his way out of the burrow. He did.

All right, the moment of truth. To see a youngster come out of Zoom’s burrow was such a magical feeling….Young platypus are so vulnerable and so clumsy. But Zoom’s work as a mother is done. Now her baby’s out of the burrow, he’ll have to find his own way in the world.

This series is Walsh’s love letter to the platypus, which is now considered a threatened species. The series premieres on October 18, 2023.

Witness the story of Pete Walsh, a Tasmanian man who befriends a platypus he names Zoom. With the help of experts, Pete learns more about the platypus’s secret world in a mission to protect them from the dangers of urban development.