Friday, July 17, 2009

Australia calls in snipers to protect penguins

Whatever happened to the circle of life or is that thrown out depending on a cuteness scale?

Australia has posted snipers to protect endangered penguins in its biggest city, Sydney, after a spate of attacks, officials said on Tuesday.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service deployed its own marksmen as well as infrared cameras and traps after nine penguins were mauled to death by dogs or foxes in bushland to the city's north.

Parks officials have carried out autopsies on the dead penguins and are also using DNA testing to try to track their killers.

"We've been working really hard to try to protect the endangered little penguins since we've had nine killed in the last couple of weeks," a spokeswoman told AFP.

"Our focus is on protecting the penguins. We're pulling out all the stops to keep them safe. They're very endangered and very much loved by Sydneysiders."

The marksmen are patrolling Sydney's North Head national park at night while officials have also planted traps and laid bait in a bid to stop the killings.

Daily Mail with more.

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