Thursday, January 4, 2007

Hunt for Melbourne penguin killers continues

Wildlife authorities say they are appalled by the senseless slaughter of three penguins from a Melbourne beach colony.

The stabbed and battered remains of two male and one female bird were discovered at the St Kilda breakwater Little Penguin colony in the days leading up to Christmas.

Autopsy results showed they all died of trauma consistent with a single heavy blow.

One of the male penguins also had its left flipper slashed with a knife.

Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) wildlife officer Samantha Moore said one of the penguins was hit so hard its back was broken.

"This was an appalling act of cruelty upon these flightless birds who had no means of escape," she said.

Ms Moore said police were testing a knife found near the scene for fingerprints and it could be examined for DNA.

She appealed for anyone fishing or walking near the St Kilda breakwater area around December 21 who noticed someone acting suspiciously, to come forward.

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