A little blue penguin chick has died after being attacked by a dog in West Auckland.
The little blue penguin/kororā was left blind and injured after a small dog savaged the "completely defenceless" bird before authorities decided to put it down due to its injuries.
The penguin was rushed to the New Zealand Bird Rescue Charitable Trust in Auckland's Green Bay with a bite under its flipper and a damaged right eye.
Taking to social media, the Trust said the dog's attack caused the penguin to go blind and decided it was most humane to euthanise the injured bird.
"After a very tough season of receiving many young birds injured by cat bites, we were all devastated to lose this little blue penguin (kororā) to a dog attack.
"This little fellow was nearly through his post-breeding moult when attacked. They are completely defenceless when going through this process.
"We were surprised to discover the dog was a smaller dog, (check out the bite under the flipper) but it was not the bite that killed. The penguin came to us with a damaged right eye but within a week, both eyes were compromised and it lost all sight.
"Pet Doctors examined him and found the blindness was caused by the penguin being shaken by the dog.
"They decided the most humane option was to euthanise him.
"Please do look out for signs around our beaches indicating penguins and other birds are present, and keep your dog (even small ones) on a lead in these areas, especially over the summer breeding and moulting time."
Animal lovers have since taken to Facebook to remind dog owners to keep their animals on a leash near beaches or wildlife refuges.
"Leash your dogs at the beach or at any known wildlife refuge area. Completely preventable," one wrote.
Another said: "I think we are really going to need to push pet policy really hard. Certainly, there are places where it is not so critical for wildlife that cats and dogs are contained, but if we choose to live in an area of high biodiversity, I personally believe we have an obligation to protect it."
Little penguins are protected under the Wildlife Act.
Owners of dogs who hunt or kill absolutely protected wildlife could face prosecution.
Owners face a maximum fine or $100,000 or two years' jail.