These two dogs are an Australian penguin’s best friend — with skills that have saved as many as a two thousand birds in the last ten years.
Foxes had nearly decimated the population of ‘little penguins’ on Middle Island — killing nearly 200 a year.
But, since 2006 when Eudy and Tula started guarding the species, which is the smallest type of penguin in the world, there hasn’t been any evidence of a predator attack.
After the dogs started patrolling the island, the flock grew from a low of just 10 birds to more than 150 today.
It was a local chicken farmer, Swampy Marsh, who first suggested using the large, white Maremma sheep dogs as penguin guardians because they were so good at protecting his free range hens.
The community of Warrnambool sponsored the dogs’ training and still provides homes for them through the winter.
During the penguins’ mating season, the dogs patrol the island five days a week, spending their days off at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, where they meet visitors and help educate people about conservation.
(H/T: to a commenter in one of yesterday’s posts at Little Green Footballs)
And because its in the title: