A fairy penguin, also known as a little blue penguin
A fairy penguin, also known as a little blue penguin

Hunt on for killers of 30 little blue penguins

Warning: image of the killed animals at bottom of story

RANGERS and animal control are on the hunt for a mystery killer after 30 little blue penguins were killed near Dunedin in New Zealand.

Twenty-one bodies were recovered from the rocky coast at Doctors Point on Saturday, another seven on Sunday and two yesterday.

Department of Conservation partnerships ranger Simon Alefesio-Tuck said rangers were alerted after a member of the public called the Doc hotline on Saturday.

The bodies of the penguins, which had puncture wounds around their necks, had been sent to Massey University for autopsy.

The cause of their deaths could be known today.
 

Mr Alefesio-Tuck said they were killed by an animal, but he could not confirm what sort until the autopsy results were in.

The dead penguins were spread around the rocky shore towards the Mapoutahi Pa headland, a breeding area for the birds, which were nesting at this time of year.


The area was a popular dog walking spot and he asked owners to watch their pets.

''We are urging people to keep their dogs under control, definitely keep their dogs in sight and ensure they are secured on properties, especially at night, and to report any stray or uncontrolled dogs in the area.''

Marine wildlife was occasionally killed by other animals, but mass deaths were rare, he said.

Dunedin city council animal control team leader Ros MacGill said even though it was not clear the culprit was a dog, animal control had increased its patrols of the semi-rural area as a precaution, to one patrol a day.

 

Some of the little blue penguins killed, the images released by authorities in the hope it might help find those responsible.
Some of the little blue penguins killed, the images released by authorities in the hope it might help find those responsible.

Hobbit homes to be built in mystery development

Premium Content Hobbit homes to be built in mystery development

A NEW estate offers a unique style of living in one of “the most sustainable homes...

Dog shooting accused awaits ruling in court hearing

Premium Content Dog shooting accused awaits ruling in court hearing

Man claims shooting the puppy was an accident

Court hears of ‘horrible scene’ after dog was shot

Premium Content Court hears of ‘horrible scene’ after dog was shot

A MAN charged over the incident, which resulted in the dog being euthanased, has...