OVIPAROUS, Manitoba – Dr. Phineas Flynn of the Semi-Aquatic Egg-Laying Mammal Institute of Manitoba announced today that he has successfully trained a duck-billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) to detect underground and underwater leaks from oil and gas pipelines. Dr. Flynn explained that the platypus offered three distinct advantages over conventional leak detection methods:
- A platypus has a highly developed sense of smell (better than a dog) and can detect minute quantities of hydrocarbon. This provides early warning of impending major leaks developing from pinholes.
- Being semi-aquatic, the platypus can follow a pipeline over land, rivers and lakes.
- When on the job they are self-sustaining. That is, they eat worms, bugs, small fish or whatever they find in the environment.
The platypus is fitted with a miniaturized metal detecting device that uses mild electric shocks to keep the animal on course. Dr. Heinz Doofenschmertz, a well-known animal rights activist, decried the use of a platypus for such a dangerous task. He said, “The repeated electric shocks will traumatize the animal and in short order you’ll have the equivalent of a Tasmanian devil. Even though platypuses are small, no more than half a meter long, they can still bite off your toe.”
It is expected that the platypus will compete favorably with the smurf-based inspection service Peyo Enterprises [2P News, March 4, 2016]. The Peyo method is for tiny cartoon creatures to walk or swim through the pipeline making a visual inspection. Dr. Flynn contends that they miss many pinhole leaks. Furthermore, the smurfs have repeatedly gone on strike and allegedly have sabotaged a number of pipelines. This is after several smurfs were eaten by alligators while inspecting the New York City storm sewer system.
Ms. Hortense Delilah Pantiwaiste, president of Canadians Opposed to Whatever (COW), has rallied her group of people with nothing better to do to join with Dr. Doofenschmertz to protest the exploitation of platypuses. She blathered, “Next you know they’ll have the poor things carrying rifles and invading Australia.”