Fairy Penguin washed up on Aldinga Beach

Injured: The Little Penguin which was found down at Aldinga Beach. Photo: Supplied.
Injured: The Little Penguin which was found down at Aldinga Beach. Photo: Supplied.

An injured penguin was discovered down at Aldinga Beach around 9:30 am Tuesday, August 8, this follows storm like weather which occurred over Monday and the weekend.

The Little Penguin, otherwise known as a Fairy Penguin was discovered by local, Kim Rigby during her morning run.

Ms. Rigby came across the penguin roughly 500m south of the Aldinga Surf Life Saving Club and said she almost stepped on the penguin because it blended in with the seaweed so well.

It was clearly struggling, when I came near it made no attempt to escape,

Kim RIgby

“It was clearly struggling, when I came near it made no attempt to escape and when the water reached it, it didn’t try to swim away.”

Unfortunately Ms. Rigby was kilometres away from her car and was unable to help the penguin, instead she quickly posted in the Aldinga and Surrounds Community Forum on Facebook where a number of people offered advice and help.

Thankfully another member of the public was able to get down to the beach and take the small penguin to the Aldinga Veterinary Clinic. 

While the small native penguin made it the veterinary clinic alive, the clinic reported that despite contacting wildlife authorities for further opinions it had to be humanely euthanized because of its condition.

A representative of the Australian Marine Wildlife Research & Rescue Organisation said they were made aware of the injured animal.

According to the AMWRRO, animals may crawl out of the ocean due to illness which then leaves them susceptible to attacks from animals like dogs.

Down on Granite Island Victor Harbor local Stephen Hedges who works with the penguins, monitoring them year round said it is uncommon for penguins to be found down in this area.

“My son lives in Seaford however and I was walking the dog down there once and it (the dog) sniffed out what appeared to be the remains of a penguin, so it does happen.”

Mr Hedges said that the penguins had been known to swim up to 70km a day but depending on the season this distance can change drastically.

One penguin which was tracked in the Victor Harbor region once swam 100km in a day, likely chasing food.

Anyone who finds an injured animal is advised to call the AMWRRO on 8262 5452.

The SA Museum can be contacted regarding animals which have already died.