Manly’s Little Penguins face a new perilous threat: Speedboats. Several incidents have occurred over the past few weeks.
In addition to a rough sea, our Little Penguins had to cope with the increased water traffic around Manly, which made it difficult for the Penguins at Federation Point to land on the rocky cliff. One evening when the sea was quite bumpy, we were watching a Little Penguin trying to land. Normally, the Little Penguins anticipate the wash from the Manly Ferry and avoid getting injured. On this night they had waited as usual for the wash from the Manly Ferry to pass, but were surprised by another wash, and another and another. It took over half an hour for the penguins to land after being battered against the rocks.
An even more disturbing incident happened when a speedboat went through a penguin raft, as the penguins made their way home. The penguins ‘raft-up’ when they travel to gain ‘strength in numbers’. Speedboat drivers do not seem to know or watch out for this.
As a possible result of this one Little Penguin was found dead, washed up on the ‘Private Beach’ with head injuries the very next morning.
Another penguin was discovered disorientated near East Esplanade, possible affected by the loss of his friend. He and the dead penguin were taken to hospital. Fortunately the disorientated penguin was soon released into the penguin habitat at Manly Wharf again.
The grieving penguin might have been our notorious Stickybeak. Unfortunately for Stickybeak, this is not the first time that he has lost a dear one. His first partner was found trapped under a disposable coffee cup and a few days later with a supermarket plastic bag wrapped around her foot. She was rescued twice; however, we were not surprised when she did not return for the next breeding season.
As the old saying goes, there’s plenty of fish in the ocean, however, is their a penguin for our lonely Little Penguin out there?