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Help Wanted: Australia seeking canine penguin guards

Australian authorities are seeking two puppies to grow into an unusual job: bodyguard for penguins. They'll get two summers of training by the dogs who have the job now, and then take over keeping foxes off small Middle Island, off Warnambool on Australia's South Coast.

 

The project originated when fox raids reduced the breeding population on the island from about 800 in 1999 to 10 in 2005. The following summer, two Maremma guard dogs were brought to the island; their presence, and barking when needed, has kept the foxes away. The dogs, Eudy and Tula, are getting older; in two years, after training their replacements, they will retire.

 

The young dogs, also Maremmas, will spend the summers on the island, getting used to the idea that it is their territory, and that coming and going to the mainland is also part of life. The local city council and several organizations are raising $25,000 to buy the new dogs and to train and maintain the system. More details in The Telegraph (UK) 

 

Photo: warnamboolpenguins.co.au

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