Penguin Rehab and Release call for fish funds

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This adorable waddle of penguins was captured hiding under a car on a remote island off the northwest coast of Tasmania.

“A friendly reminder to check under your cars for our penguin friends,” the King Island Community Noticeboard post read.

“They love getting up close and personal! But they aren’t very street smart.”

At least seven little penguins can be seen huddling under the four-wheel drive on King Island, an island in the Bass Strait, 80km off northwestern Tasmania.

The island is home to less than 2000 humans and a colony of little penguins that make their way home to their burrows at Grassy Harbour every night.

Colonies of little penguins mainly occur on offshore islands around Australia and New Zealand and are found from Port Stephens in northern New South Wales around the southern coast to Fremantle, Western Australia, with the biggest population in Tasmania.

Between 11 and 19 thousand of the “noisy” little creatures come to Tasmania to breed across the main island’s northwest, north, east and south coasts.

Burnie-based conservation group Penguin Rehab and Release recently posted a desperate fundraising plea asking for more money to buy fish to feed the penguins in its care.

It said it is currently going through 30 kilograms of fish per week.

“This has been a very busy season, with 33 penguins already having been successfully rehabilitated and released into the wild,” they posted to GoFundMe.

“There are still currently 16 penguins being cared for at the facility as they regain their health and strength ready for release. With such a large number of penguins in care it has been very expensive and funds have run out.

“It costs approximately $400 to buy enough fish to feed the penguins currently in care for one week.

“Penguin Rehab & Release urgently need help to be able to cover these costs and get these penguins through the rest of their rehabilitation and back out into the ocean where they belong,” the post reads.

Penguin Rehab and Release was established as “the first facility in the northwest of Tasmania dedicated to rehabilitating penguins, and other seabirds, that come into care due to illness, injury or misadventure, with the aim of preparing them for successful release back into the wild”.

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