News | 26 May 2017
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Dog owners warned after penguin killed on waterfront

The death of a little blue penguin serves as a salutary warning for people who have dogs.

Owner asking dog to sit.

The bloody death of a little blue penguin on Wellington’s waterfront last night serves as a salutary warning for people who have dogs – keep your dog on a leash.

That’s the message from Wellington City Councillor Peter Gilberd, who holds the Council’s Natural Environment Portfolio.

“This was a really sad and unfortunate incident – it’s a stark reminder of the need to keep all dogs on a leash, especially in our coastal areas.

“A lot of people wouldn’t realise that we have little blue penguins roosting right in the middle of Wellington – but it’s a happy fact of life. Unfortunately most dogs will naturally see a little blue penguin as prey – and if a dog is off-leash then it’ll kill a penguin in a couple of seconds – before anybody can do anything.

“People should use the city’s dog parks to provide off-leash exercise.”

Cr Gilberd says identity of the person with the dog is unknown. “In theory the City Council or DoC could prosecute the owner if they were identified – but I think it is very important for the community to know why dogs should be on leashes – to stop this kind of thing happening in the first place.”