Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Stanley Beach penguins may get highly-trained marksmen to protect them from dog attacks

Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson believes Stanley Beach’s fairy penguins must be protected at all costs ... even if it means killing pet dogs. Picture: Supplied.

Raffaella Ciccarelli 
Stanley Beach’s fairy penguin colony could be getting their very own security detail in the form of highly-trained snipers. 
That is, if Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson has his way.

This moves comes in response to the fact 14 penguins were killed in a vicious dog attack over the weekend. Their little bodies were found by a Stanley resident on Sunday at the Tasmanian town’s penguin viewing area.

This latest discovery has prompted a call to action from Senator Whish-Wilson, who is sick and tired of these maulings. He wants to bring in snipers to kill rogue dogs who prey on the colony.

He said, “It is time to take stronger action than mitigation measures to make it harder for dogs to get into penguin burrows,” the Mercury reported.

“We could train guard dogs to protect the penguin burrows as has been done in some other places or we could, like they did in 2009 and 2015 in Sydney, hire professional snipers to shoot rogue dogs.”
While the idea may sound drastic, and has been met with laughter online, this method has worked in the past.

 Picture: Braden Fastier.

In 2009, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service used marksman to protect the colonies at Manly and North Head on Sydney’s North Shore.

However, if it goes ahead this move could anger residents in the area, as pet dogs may wind up as casualties.

“Residents in North Head area were letterboxed and it was made very clear that if dogs were found in certain areas and certain times they would be shot,” Whish-Wilson said.

“The little penguins simply cannot defend themselves against dogs,” he added.

Agree or disagree with this measure but it’s clear that this statement is true.


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