Protected penguins mauled at nature park

Dozens of Victoria's protected little penguins have been mauled to death at the popular Phillip Island Nature Park.

The Department of Sustainability and Environment said 27 little penguins were found at Cat Bay, Shelly Beach and Penguin Parade Car Park. Two water rats, also protected animals, were also found dead.

DSE wildlife said the injuries were consistent with a dog attack. Owners of dogs that attack wildlife on public land face fines of up to A$3000 ($3850).

Phillip Island is home to one of the world's largest colonies of the little penguins. Known as the Penguin Parade, every night at dusk, hundreds of the penguins swim ashore and make their way to their homes in the nature reserve.

- AAP

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