Hunt for killer dog that mauled SEVENTEEN penguins to death in a single day with owners to face massive fines
- Tasmanian wildlife authorities released a CCTV image hoping to identify a dog
- The dog is believed to be responsible for killing 17 little penguins in December
- Owners of dogs that kill sensitive wildlife can face massive fines in Tasmania
- Could be fined $5,040, have their pet destroyed, and be liable for other costs
Wildlife authorities in Tasmania are calling for help to identify a dog thought responsible for killing 17 little penguins in the state’s northwest.
The birds were found dead at West Beach in Burnie on December 31.
Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service released a CCTV image of a dog that was in the area around the time of the attack.
Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service released a CCTV image of a dog they believe is responsible for killing 17 little penguins
‘It is possible this dog is the animal responsible for the penguin deaths,’ state compliance coordinator Michael Spaulding said.
‘We ask anyone who may have information to assist with identifying this dog to please make contact with us.’
Post-mortem investigations determined the little penguins, the smallest of all penguins, died as a result of a dog attack.
‘Dogs can cause a lot of damage to penguin colonies very quickly. It is important owners control or contain their pets effectively,’ Mr Spaulding said.
Post-mortem investigations determined the little penguins, the smallest of all penguins, died as a result of a dog attack
Tasmania in 2019 passed tougher laws increasing potential penalties for owners of dogs that kill sensitive wildlife.
Owners could be fined up to $5040, have their pet destroyed, and be liable for other costs.
The penalty for taking a dog into a prohibited area containing sensitive habitat for native wildlife was increased to $3360.
Owners of dogs that kill sensitive wildlife can face fines up to $5040, have their pet destroyed, and be liable for other costs
There were several mass penguin deaths due to dog attacks in 2018 and 2019, including one at Low Head where 58 perished.
What are little penguins?
Little penguins (also known as fairy penguins) are the smallest breed of penguin weighing roughly just a kilogram each.
They found are in several spots across Australia and New Zealand.
The tiny penguins spend as much 80 per cent of their time in the water, swimming and hunting for fish.
However the little waddlers tend to return to the shore at night where they can rest and feed their families.
The penguins are great diggers and make burrows along rocky shorelines for their nests.
Source: Lap of Tasmania