- Blue penguin was found covered in blood in St Kilda on Friday morning
- Was discovered by an Earthcare St Kilda worker inside a fenced off area
- Second attack in two weeks, another penguin was kicked and later died
- Parks Victoria said better protection for the colony is being looked into
A penguin has been found covered in blood after an attack believed to have been carried out by a group of young men in St Kilda in the early hours of Friday morning.
The blue penguin was found by an Earthcare St Kilda volunteer inside a fenced off area created to protect the birds at about 1.30am. ‘Those who delivered the attack are very sick, gutless, criminal who should not be at liberty in our community,’ the volunteer group wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.
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This follows an attack two weeks ago when tourists saw a young man kick a penguin repeatedly inside the fence. The penguin’s dead body was later found and reported to police.
Parks Victoria's Melbourne regional director Chris Hardman said the penguins at St Kilda were protected native wildlife and a tourist attraction, and efforts to better protect the colony were being looked into.
'We've done some preliminary planning to look at how we could manage the site including fencing, a controlled entry point, and establishing a viewing platform that separates people and penguins,' he said. 'Parks Victoria has recently met with Philip Island Nature Reserve to seek advice on the best way forward.'
Parks Victoria plans on working with Earthcare and other volunteers to get a better solution for the penguins.
A post from the Earthcare Facebook page condemning the attack on the penguin early on Friday morning
People were quick to take to social media to condemn the attack. Valentina La Piana said: 'Such treachery! I can't believe anyone would want or could harm such small and defenceless creatures. It makes me sick to my stomach and makes my blood boil! With so much surveillance surely theses barbaric thugs will be caught and when they do they should face prosecution and the full weight of the law - bloody outrageous!'
A pengiun pictured at St Kilda beach in Melbourne. This is the second attack on penguins in the area in the past two weeks
Steve Mitchee said: 'As a animal lover this is a very sad day, I would like to get a hold of the horrible half wit's who did this to those poor creatures. I just hope for once the law will do the right thing.'
Cassandra Wilson said: What kind of sick demented people would harm an defenseless penguin for entertainment? So tragic, I can't believe such terrible, disgusting people exist.'
Suggestions on social media for how to keep the penguins safe in the future have ranged from better education for the public, a fenced-off area for the birds and even completely removing the penguins from the habitat.
Parks Victoria's Chris Hardman said the penguins at St Kilda were protected native wildlife and a tourist attraction, and efforts to better protect the colony were being looked into
Chris Hardiman said preliminary planning to look at how the site could be managed includes fencing, a controlled entry point, and establishing a viewing platform that separates people and penguins
The penguins at St Kilda beach in Melbourne (pictured) are a popular attraction for tourists