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Dog kills Wellington little blue penguin

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/05/2017
A 62-day-old baby Little Blue penguin, left, is approached by an adult penguin in this file photo. © Associated Press A 62-day-old baby Little Blue penguin, left, is approached by an adult penguin in this file photo.

A dog has killed a Little Blue Penguin on Wellington's waterfront, sparking a warning for people to keep their hounds on a leash or use dog parks.

The penguin was attacked on Thursday night, the Wellington City Council says.

"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," said councillor Peter Gilberd.

"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."

The council did not know who the dog's owner was but it had the power to prosecute them, Mr Gilberd said.

Little Blue Penguins are the world's smallest penguin. They are found around most of New Zealand's coastline but populations are declining where they are not protected from predators.

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