Last Updated on July 5, 2023 by Fumipets
Tragic Loss for Breeding Blue Penguins: Dog Attack Claims Two Lives on Wellington Coast
Canine Carnage: A Heartbreaking Tale
In a chilling warning for pet owners, New Zealand’s Forest and Bird conservation group reports a shocking incident of dog aggression that resulted in the tragic demise of two kororā, or little blue penguins. This protected species under the Wildlife Act faced a grim fate on Wellington’s serene coast, highlighting the unfortunate reality that dogs pose a significant threat to their survival.
Forest and Bird – Places for Penguins brought attention to the incident through a Facebook post, revealing that the lifeless bodies of the penguins were discovered at Oruaiti Reserve, in Seatoun, by members of the public.
Post-mortem Report: A Tell-tale of Savagery
A thorough necropsy performed by the veterinary team at Wellington Zoo pointed towards the clear involvement of a dog. The internal damage was catastrophic, and multiple puncture wounds further solidified the cause of death.
The deceased kororā, a male and a female, were noted to be at healthy weights, suggesting they were in good condition. This factor led to the heartbreaking assumption that the pair were likely prepared for the upcoming breeding season, adding a layer of ecological loss to the tragedy.
Recurring Tragedy: A Wake-Up Call for Pet Owners
In a disturbing pattern, this is the second such incident reported by Forest and Bird in as many months, indicating an urgent need to address irresponsible dog ownership.
The organization, along with several dedicated groups and individuals, is working towards enhancing signage around the shores to warn of the presence of the penguins. They are also reevaluating areas where dogs are allowed to roam freely, with a firm commitment to wildlife protection. As the organization puts it, “We cannot allow these tragedies to continue to happen.”
Reporting Wildlife Tragedies: An Appeal to Public
Forest and Bird – Places for Penguins implores anyone who comes across deceased kororā around Wellington to promptly report it to the Department of Conservation (DoC) and their organization.
DoC’s website further notes that kororā population levels have been dwindling in areas unprotected from predators, with steady or growing populations only in predator-controlled regions. Aside from dogs, other threats to these unique birds include cats, ferrets, and stoats, with coastal development and habitat destruction compounding the issue.
Sadly, the loss of these two kororā adds another blow to the survival of this fragile native species.