Two charged over attempted penguin, egg theft

TWO men have been charged after allegedly attempting to steal a live penguin and eggs in the state's north.

At 1.50pm on Sunday Tasmania Police officers from George Town responded to a report of two men taking a live Little Penguin from a rookery at the Low Head Light House.

Prior to police arriving, bystanders had intervened, resulting in the men releasing the penguin from the boot of their car.

A police search located two penguin eggs in the car boot.

The two men were interviewed and will be proceeded against under the Wildlife Regulations 2011 and National Parks and Reserves Regulations 2019.

A 30-year-old from Prospect and a 21-year-old from Newnham will be charged by summons for taking specially protected wildlife as well as with taking products of specially protected wildlife.

They will also be charged with interfering with the nest, breeding place or habitation of any form of wildlife

Inspector Darren Hopkins said the penguin eggs were given to local wildlife experts in the hope they would be able to be hatched in captivity.

However as the eggs were unable to be returned to the rookery, the young may not survive.

"This was a joint operation in conjunction with the Parks and Wildlife Service and Tasmania Police," Inspector Hopkins said.

Inspector Hopkins thanked the members of the public who confronted the offenders prior to police arriving and convinced them to return the penguin to the rookery.

"Tasmania Police is also keen to hear from any other witnesses to the incident and from anyone who might have phone or dashcam footage of the men taking the bird and eggs," he said.



Originally published as Two charged over attempted penguin, egg theft