From the public, National Parks and Wildlife Service, vets and FAWNA, many hands came to the fore in an effort to help an underweight and moulting little penguin found needing help at Forster.
The juvenile little penguin, named Sweet Pea after his visit to the Sweet Pea Animal Hospital in Forster, was vet checked and announced ready for rehabilitation.
FAWNA carers Gail and Allan, Wendy and June, arranged a relay transfer from Forster to Port Macquarie where temporary special facilities were prepared to take in this special little bird who was diagnosed as needing “fattening up” and supervision until the moult was complete and new feathers grown.
FAWNA carer, Gail from Rainbow Flat, reported, “this little cutie won all our hearts as it was being transported between us, although it did bite me once, when giving him some spark. It was a pleasure to be part of this team effort to help this little penguin”.
The little penguin is the only penguin species that breeds on the Australian mainland. Little penguins are found along the southern coasts of Australia, from near Perth in Western Australia to around Coffs Harbour in northern NSW. They also occur in New Zealand.
Originally, little penguins were fairly common on the Australian mainland, but these days their colonies are generally restricted to offshore islands. Approximately 25,000 pairs nest on islands off the coast of NSW.
FAWNA asks if anyone comes across a penguin causing concern they should contact FAWNA immediately on 6581 4141, and keep it secure and warm, or take it to a local vet.
When ready for release the little penguin will be returned to its encounter location if its own species are present, or efforts will be made to introduce it into an existing penguin colony.
“Happy Feet” FAWNA’s last rehabilitated little penguin was successfully released in waters off Port Macquarie.
For more information about FAWNA’s volunteer work with wildlife go to www.fawna.org.au