St Kilda penguin 'murder'

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: St Kilda penguin 'murder'
From: Debbie Lustig <>
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2012 23:54:24 +1100
There was quite a gruesome scene last night at the St Kilda breakwater when a 
rakali caught, killed and ate a Little Penguin. Everyone who spends time with 
the 1200-strong colony beyond the end of the pier will have noticed rakali, the 
native water rats with waterproof fur, heavily-whiskered faces, webbed hind 
paws and long, white-tipped tails. (They can also be seen in Elwood, Albert 
Park and Port Melbourne.)
Most of us knew they ate penguin eggs but this incident took place in view of 
many visitors, who were understandably shocked.The question is, How? A 
fully-grown rakali weighs 1.2 kg, about the same as a Little Penguin. 
Speculation is it was a dependent juvenile.
Some interesting vehicles (motorbikes) and activities (snapper fishing) have 
already enlivened the evenings for the dedicated St Kilda Earthcare volunteer 
guides. What's next?

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