Penguins are washing ashore following wild weather in Victoria

By AAP 13 April 2021
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Young penguins are being washed up on Victorian beaches after the state’s wild weather over the weekend.

Victoria’s young penguins have suffered in the wild weather over the weekend and beach walkers are being urged to lend a hand.

The Animalia Wildlife Shelter at the bayside suburb of Frankston is asking people to keep an eye out for exhausted penguins along their local beaches.

Wildlife carer Michelle Thomas said bodies of young penguins have been washed up in Port Phillip Bay and along the Victorian coast.

She explained that the young penguins are 16-20 weeks old and haven’t learned how to fend for themselves.

Usually, they will learn how to fish by watching other penguins, but that hasn’t been possible in the rough seas and some have died of starvation.

“They’re not taught how to fish by their parents, one day mum and dad don’t come back to the burrow,” Ms Thomas told 3AW.

“They decide to take a walk in the direction that mum and dad went off.

“Then they get themselves out to sea and they’ve got to work it out for themselves – they do that by observation.

“Unfortunately with those tumultuous seas, they can’t see what is going on and often they just pull themselves out on any beach.”

Ms Thomas advises anyone who finds a beached penguin to put it in a box, cover the bird with a blanket and go to the nearest wildlife shelter.

A week after balmy Easter holiday weather, much of Victoria was hit with a cold snap over the weekend and snow fell in some parts of the state.