Thursday, November 5, 2015

Penguin death probe at Sulphur Creek

THE killing of a further six penguins at Sulphur Creek has prompted a response "above and beyond" the remit of Parks and Wildlife Services, according to a spokesman.

The penguins are suspected to have been killed by a pet dog and are among 20 killed at Sulphur Creek in the past seven days.

A further 15 penguins are confirmed as having been killed by a dog after they were found with their necks broken at Sulphur Creek in July.

"While it's not the responsibility of PWS to control dogs by their owners we just need to do something," Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment's Ben Davidson said.

"It is above and beyond but there is a decision to go above and beyond here."

Rangers will be patrolling the area in an attempt to apprehend any dog at large as well as door-knocking dog owners. PWS will work with the Central Coast Council and the response will be similar to the co-ordinated action carried out after a record number of penguin deaths at Ulverstone five years ago, the council's Cor Vander Vlist said.

"Because it is continuing we'll be doing whatever we can, there'll be a range of measures to prevent it from happening or catch the animals involved.

"Our main concern here is that they're ongoing."

Should a dog be apprehended, there are a range of options open to the council, including declaring the animal a "dangerous dog" and fines of up to $770, Mr Vander Vlist said.

The council is not aware of any other instances of penguins being killed by dogs on the Central Coast.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Parks and Wildlife Ulverstone office on 64643018.


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