A little blue penguin that was rescued after being savagely mauled by a dog on the Kaipara's west coast - has died from its injuries.
Ihapera Paniora found the blue penguin with a bite to its abdomen about a week ago not far from the entrance to Baylys beach.
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"It wasn't moving and almost looked like a rock to me, but I thought nah it can't be, it has to be a baby penguin; turned back around and sure enough it was.
"There was also a dog running around with a group of people nearby, we got out and had a look and it was so exhausted, fighting for its life."
"I could see lots of dog marks all around it, but luckily after resting for the night he woke up the next morning chirpy, so seemed to have recovered from the exhaustion."
She brought the little penguin some fish bait from the local BP petrol station that morning, but he refused to eat.
She then took him to Ruawai to be cared for by locals who had previous experience with caring for birdlife, working in a wildlife hospital.
A few days later the bird was released into the care of Robert Webb at the Whangārei Native Bird Recovery centre, where it subsequently died from its injuries.
"It's really sad it's passed away, I was really hoping it would recover."
Centre co-founder Robert Webb says the bird spent a few days in its care before finally succumbing to the wounds, "it had suffered too much internal damage".
However, Webb doesn't blame the dog for the bird's death...
"It is not the dog's fault, it is the irresponsible dog owners who didn't keep the dog on a lead and away from the penguin. When they take their dog somewhere, if they let them off the lead and let them run free, it's too late by the time something has happened.
"The same applies with people going into the forest and letting their dog off into the forest, the owner, thinks oh he must be chasing a rabbit, in reality there is a good chance it's chasing a kiwi."
Webb says he has received more than 30 blue penguins in the last year, with at least 10 injured from dog attacks in the region.
The Conservation Department recommends members of the public who find injured penguins to take the birds to a bird rescue/rehab centre if there is one nearby. "If this is not an option, we recommend moving an injured bird to a discreet and hidden location to give it an opportunity to recover.
Little penguins are protected under the Wildlife Act, and owners of dogs who hunt or kill absolutely protected wildlife could face prosecution," said a DoC spokesman.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and/or a $100,000 fine.
What to do if you find a penguin in trouble
If it looks exhausted but not in trouble, pick it up and place it in the sand dunes or tussock
If it looks like it is sick or wounded, call your local bird recovery expert or DoC
If it looks like it is fine, leave it alone
Keep your dog on a leash and advise others to do so too
DO NOT take pictures with it, this will only stress it out further
If it wants to nest around your bach, allow it to, you can even build a hut for it
If it's dead, bury it.
For more information about the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery centre or to make a donation: https://nbr.org.nz/
10th annual gun show in Dargaville
Dargaville's 10th annual Firearms and Militaria Collectors club gun show is on tomorrow.
Dargaville Firearms and Militaria Collectors Club president John Dahlin hopes the public will support the event, despite guns not being flavour of the month as a result of recent law changes, "so please come along and see what responsible firearm ownership and militaria collection really looks like".
"Over here in Dargaville, we have an active little club, that has been flourishing for just over 21 years".
"It's certainly not elitist, with annual membership of $10, unchanged for about 15 years."
Dahlin says they enjoy a steady membership of between 25 and 30 members.
"Apart from collecting, displaying, historic New Zealand landmark trips and normal club activities, we encourage and teach safe firearms ownership to younger members of the community and where we can, give these young people the opportunity to see what a firearm and its safe use is all about, as well as a sense of the large part firearms have played in our country's history."
Dargaville Guns Club member Beau Bryer said, "I've always found it to be a well-run event, especially with the presence of the Northland police firearms officer on site throughout the day to process any required paperwork.
"I like the atmosphere, also being able to float from table to table without any feeling of obligation to buy. Although in saying that I've left with something every year. Definitely worth a look."
Dahlin says entry is inexpensive and targeted to be family inclusive.
"Apart from the $10 annual membership fee, this show is our only fundraiser for the year. We've averaged between 250 and 300 people through the door over the last four or five shows, which is not bad considering our limited resources."
The Dargaville Firearms and Militaria Collectors Gun Show is on tomorrow from 9.30am until 2.30pm at the Kaipara Community hall on Hokianga Rd.
Water restrictions update - for Kaipara
The Kaipara District Council have issued an update on the water restriction situation - stating level four restrictions will remain in place - meaning essential use only.
KDC chief executive Louise Miller says Northland is experiencing one of the driest 12-month periods on record.
"Our rivers, streams and underground water sources are running low. Water levels in the Kaihu River have fallen below a level, which means we've reached high level water restrictions."
"Please reduce your water use immediately, at home and at work, to protect our water supply."
According to a KDC spokesman the council is still monitoring river levels daily, "and working with Northland Regional Council to manage flows to the treatment plant for Dargaville and Baylys Beach".
"At this stage we're asking all of Kaipara to look to conserve water where possible. The low/non rainfall is causing even those on tanks to have issues."
"We're working with the other Northland councils, and government agencies (eg Civil Defence, FENZ and the DHB) as to how we continue to move forward."
For ongoing updates on water restrictions sign up to Antenno, follow the KDC's Facebook page or the Kaipara website.
Kai Iwi Lakes - TriAthlon is back
Kai Iwi lakes will once again host the fun as well as family friendly Fireco triathlon.
The event is the first on the Sport Northland Calendar and takes place next Saturday.
This year's event will feature two children's events and three adult distances.
Sport Northland which hosts the event says there are a couple of new additions to the line-up, new this time is the Splash and Dash, which features a shallow 50m swim for kids who can touch the bottom if they need to, followed by a short 1000m run along the lakefront.
Children do not need to be able to swim and parents can accompany their child if they wish.
There is also a Try a Tri teams event for children. Teams are limited to a maximum of two participants, with one team member completing the swim, one completing the bike and then both completing the run together.
Also new this year for adults is the Try a Tri, which is targeted at novice athletes who are wanting to try a triathlon but want to ease their way into it.
It comprises a 100m swim, a 9km cycle and a 2km run.
The start, finish and transition areas are all based at Pine Beach where there is camping available so you can really make a weekend of it.
To compete in any of the popular events head to: sportnorthlandevents.co.nz/kids-triathlon
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