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Penguin Loss

4 November 2015

Updated 11 November

Staff at Melbourne Zoo, with the assistance of a fox control specialist, have successfully caught and humanely killed a fox at the Wild Sea exhibit.

Staff will continue to monitor the grounds over the next few days to ensure there are no other foxes at Melbourne Zoo.

The Little Penguins and Quokkas are being housed securely for the time being, until staff are confident that there is no other fox remain at the Zoo.


Original article

Wild Sea Keepers were devastated this morning to arrive at the Zoo to find 14 dead Penguins in the exhibit.

The surviving 15 Penguins have all been checked over by Zoo Veterinarians and been moved into a secure area at the Veterinary Department, where they will be safe until it is confirmed that the fox has either left the Zoo or been caught.

Wild Sea Manager Justin Valentine says that the surviving Penguins are uninjured and that they are all settling in to their temporary accommodation, the area used for many years as the Penguin feeding school.

Keepers had suspected for the past week that a predator had managed to enter the Zoo, but so far the traps and cameras set up have been unsuccessful in confirming its presence. Unfortunately the first confrimation a fox was on property was the night of the penguin attack.

As the Zoo’s 22 hectares include large areas of densely planted vegetation and is surrounded by parkland, it is relatively easy for a fox to hide during the day.

The Zoo is working with a fox control expert and he will be coming in to offer further advice.

Foxes are found throughout Melbourne’s parks and suburbs, but their nocturnal pattern of activity means that people are rarely aware of their presence.

Fortunately foxes rarely manage to enter the Zoo grounds, and additional measures are being taken today to further fox-proof the gates.