DOES A PENGUIN NEED YOUR HELP?
Regionally, Little Penguins can be found at Phillip Island and St Kilda but there are also some small colonies on islands in the bay as well. Little Penguins are nocturnal and generally come ashore around dusk and leave before dawn so it is not normal for them to be seen on the beach during the day.
If you see a penguin during the day call our hotline on 0412 433 727
- Entanglement: penguins who become entangled in fishing line and plastic waste need rescue and rehabilitation, as their hunting ability may be hindered.
- On the beach during the day: penguins are nocturnal and if seen during the day need assessment and rescue.
- Chased and caught by dog, cat or fox: these penguins needs rescue and care.
- Moult: penguins moult (replace their feathers) annually and if they leave their burrow before the moult is complete they are not waterproof. If they have not been able to fatten up sufficiently prior to entering their burrow for the 17 days the moult takes they may leave early or be undernourished and weak when they leave. Assessment and rescue is required.
Phillip Island penguins (left) generally moult from mid-February while penguins at St Kilda have been recorded as commencing moult as early as mid January. They can be found on our beaches from mid-January until April and need rescue and care.
DO NOT CHASE OR FORCE PENGUINS TO ENTER THE WATER
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Stress can be fatal and Little Penguins are easily stressed. They need to be removed from stressful situations and taken into specialised care as quickly as possible. Please keep children and pets away.
If you see a penguin that needs help and want to ‘rescue’ it BEFORE calling AWARE, your nearest Wildlife Organisation or a VET, please follow these guidelines:
- Use a towel to line a ventilated box, or basket with a lid, to transport the penguin. Never line the transport container with newspaper.
- Pick up the penguin carefully and loosely wrap in a towel.
- Gently place the penguin into the well ventilated box.
- Ideally the penguin should be kept in a warm, dark and quiet environment, but should never have heat placed underneath them. The ideal temperature for transportation is 21 degrees celsius.
- Call AWARE, your nearest wildlife shelter/group or take to a vet quickly and as quietly as possible. During transportation please turn off your car radio and refrain from smoking. We would prefer if you were not accompanied by children or pets as these will stress the animal.