Hunt for youths accused of kicking penguin at tram station

It is not the first time Melbourne's little penguin colony has been targeted.

CCTV footage has been released of three young males in the hope they can be identified after they allegedly kicked a little penguin at a Melbourne tram stop.

The incident occurred in the middle of tram tracks in the beachside suburb of St Kilda in the city's southeast on December 8, with a member of public witnessing the encounter and confronting the group.

Left, a little penguin. Right, CCTV footage of the three young males who have been accused of kicking a little penguin on December 8.
Three young males have been accused of kicking a little penguin in St Kilda, Melbourne where a penguin colony of up to 1,400 live. Source: Parks NSW and Crime Stoppers

The member of public relocated the penguin to the beach pier at around 11.30pm and reported the incident to Crime Stoppers, with the alleged attack happening near stop 136 on Alfred Square and The Esplanade.

Crime Stoppers and the Conservation Regulator have since released footage of the trio on the night of the alleged attack, appealing to the public for assistance in identifying them.

Little penguin killed in 2021 in same location

It is not the first time a little penguin has been targeted in the area with one killed in October, 2021 by five males all aged in their early 20s.

St Kilda is home to a colony of approximately 1,400 little penguins and the public can view these penguins most nights near the pier. The not-for-profit Earthcare St Kilda is responsible for researching and managing the colony and have done so since 1986.

Like all wildlife, little penguins are protected in the state and across Australia. It is illegal to injure, chase, disturb or interfere with them, and penalties range from just over $3,000 to a maximum of $48,077 or 12 months in jail.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a report online.

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