Hunt for men who attacked and killed penguin in St Kilda

·2-min read

A little penguin from a famed Melbourne colony has been killed in a sickening case of animal cruelty.

The defenceless creature was allegedly taken from its home at the St Kilda Pier at 2.17am on October 17 by a group of five men believed to be in their 20s.

A group of five men believed to be in their 20s caught on CCTV with the penguin on Jacka Boulevard, in front of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron. Source: Crime Stoppers
A group of five men believed to be in their 20s were caught on CCTV with the penguin in front of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron. Source: Crime Stoppers

Less than 10 minutes later, the little penguin was allegedly thrown against a wall and kicked before being left to die on Jacka Boulevard, in front of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron.

The alleged attackers, who laughed while recording the heartless act on their phones, were unknowingly caught on CCTV cameras.

“This was a sickening case of cruelty to a Little Penguin, an iconic native species," Chief Conservation Regulator Kate Gavens told Yahoo News. 

“This kind of behaviour is illegal and unacceptable.”

A group of five men believed to be in their 20s caught CCTV with the penguin on Jacka Boulevard, in front of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron. Source: Crime Stoppers
The maximum penalty for aggravated cruelty leading to death or serious disablement of an animal is $82,610 or two years jail. Source: Crime Stoppers

Five men wanted over animal cruelty case

Police and the Conservation Regulator have now launched a public appeal to help track down those responsible for the cruel death of the little penguin.

The male believed to have captured the penguin had a light complexion, was wearing a white T-shirt, grey pants, black shoes and had short dreadlocks in a ponytail. This individual was later seen shirtless after exiting the pier.

The man observed kicking the penguin had dark complexion, was believed to be wearing a black Dolce & Gabbana hoodie, black pants with a single, solid white stripe, black shoes, and a black cap.

If caught, the men face fines of up to $82,610, or up to two years in jail.

Two men in a group caught CCTV with the penguin on Jacka Boulevard, in front of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron. Source: Crime Stoppers
Police are urging anyone with information about the heartless act to come forward. Source: Crime Stoppers

The St Kilda breakwater is home to a famed colony of little penguins, also known as fairy penguins, who can be seen from the tourist platform waddling ashore each day around dusk.

The colony of around 1,400 penguins was the target of previous attacks in 2016.

The Fairy penguin the smallest penguin in the world live at St.Kilda beach. Source: Getty Images
St Kilda is home to around 1,400 little penguins. Source: Getty Images

If anyone has information about this incident of animal cruelty or can identify any of the alleged persons involved, please make a confidential report to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestoppersvic.com.au.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

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