The rescued chicks: left in limbo
KI penguins 'kidnapped'
16 Jan, 2010 04:00 AM
The chicks were about seven weeks old when they were rescued from the Kingscote penguin colony. Mr Ayliffe said they had been abandoned by their mother and their burrow appeared to have been vandalised.
A DEH spokesperson said the penguin centre was issued with a permit to care for the chicks subject to certain conditions. “Reports to DEH raised concerns about the welfare of the chicks and indicated that Mr Ayliffe was in breach of these conditions,” she said. “As such, the matter is now under formal investigation.
“DEH's aim is to rehabilitate the animals and release them into the wild wherever possible.”
However, Mr Ayliffe claims the chicks were progressing well at the penguin centre, and he is now concerned about what will happen to them. He said penguins from Kingscote have a unique DNA, so should not be released into any other colony. He is calling for a mediator to be brought in to manage negotiations between the centre and DEH, with shadow environment minister Michelle Lensink taking up his cause with the department.