Penguin selfies 'not cool'

By Shawn McAvinue

A man takes a selfie with a Fiordland crested penguin in Dunedin on Wednesday. Photos: Steven Higgan/ODT
A man takes a selfie with a Fiordland crested penguin in Dunedin on Wednesday. Photos: Steven Higgan/ODT

If people bother the rare penguin moulting in Dunedin it will be moved to a secret location, the Department of Conservation says.

A Fiordland crested penguin has become the centre of attention since it settled in to moult behind a wall at St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool in Dunedin on Tuesday morning.

Dunedin photographer Steven Higgan saw a man climb over the wall to take a selfie with the penguin on Wednesday.

The actions of the man were "not particularly cool" and photographs should be taken from a distance, Mr Higgan said.

Doc coastal Otago ranger Jim Fyfe said the penguin should be left alone during its stay near the pool.

If the penguin was harassed, Doc would move it to a secret location away from people.

Disturbing wildlife, such as taking selfies with it, was an offence under the Wildlife Act.

He urged people to refrain from climbing over the wall to see the penguin.

"It's a great opportunity for people to view the penguin from a distance - a lot of people are getting a pleasure out of that - so respect that distance and don't climb over the wall, or go in the immediate vicinity where the penguin has decided to get some peace and quiet."

Doc had not received any official complaints about people bothering the penguin, he said.

- Otago Daily Times

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