Penguin deaths ‘of great concern’

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The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony is working with the Department of Conservation (DoC) after four penguins were found dead last week.

Blue Penguin Colony manager Jason Gaskill said he was notified of the deaths of four penguins on Saturday afternoon after the dead penguins were brought into the colony.

The deaths were “of great concern” to the Blue Penguin Colony, Mr Gaskill said.

“We’re really trying to get to the bottom of it.

“It’s unusual in a lot of ways,” he said.

“Situations like this are extremely rare.”

He could only think of one other time something like this had happened, he said.

The Blue Penguin Colony was grateful for the people who found the penguins and brought the situation to their attention, Mr Gaskill said.

He was speaking with staff and DoC about what steps they should take next over the incident.

He declined to comment over whether the incident would be reported to police.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious should call the police, he said.

By DAVID DE LOREAN