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Dogs suspected over penguin deaths


The Parks and Wildlife Service suspects that dogs are responsible for the deaths of seven little penguins at Lillico Conservation Area near Devonport early on Wednesday.

Five fledglings and two adult birds were killed at the popular penguin viewing area.

Leven Field Centre ranger-in-charge Mark Fordham said that autopsies by a veterinarian showed the penguins' injuries to be consistent with dog bites.

Mr Fordham said that dog owners need to take responsibility for their animals at all times.

"While most people wouldn't intentionally harm penguins, they need to realise their dogs can do a lot of damage in a short time - even dogs that have previously shown no hunting instinct," Mr Fordham said.

"Dog owners need to be aware that restrictions in reserves will be enforced."

Mr Fordham said that penalties relating to dogs in reserves apply under the Parks and Reserves Management Act 2002 and the Dog Control Act 2000.

Anyone with any information about dogs in the conservation area on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning is asked to contact the PWS Ulverstone office on 6429 8712.

The latest attack follows reports of similar incidents in the Port Sorell area where local volunteers are involved in a penguin awareness campaign.