Rival blue penguin colony ‘no hindrance to Oamaru’

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Tourism Waitaki general manager Jason Gaskill says a blue penguin colony in Timaru will not harm Oamaru in anyway.

More and more blue penguins are appearing in Timaru and a suggestion has been made they become a tourist attraction.

Oamaru is renowned for its blue penguin colony as it’s unlike any others seen throughout the world.

The creation of one in Timaru will be a good thing for both areas, Mr Gaskill said.

“I wish them all the best with there success in developing there blue penguin colony.”

Mr Gaskill said the knock-on effects from the Timaru colony would be a massive bonus to Oamaru.

“Oamaru and Timaru are different towns and what they will offer in the way of the penguins will be different, If people view them in Timaru then I know they will want to come to Oamaru to see how different the blue penguin colony is here.”

It will be great for the tourism side of it as it will entice people to both towns, but we know what we have here with the penguins and they can’t be matched anywhere else, Mr Gaskill said.

“Exposure to the wild life will also be a very good thing.”

There are 160 breeding pairs in Oamaru and it’s believed that none of the blue penguins settling in Timaru are from Oamaru.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: A blue penguin.