Edition: English | Español Français العربية Pусский | 中文简体 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > High Tech

World-famous Australian dog that saved penguin colony from extinction dies

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

02-16-2017 09:42 BJT

SYDNEY, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- An Australian dog that gained international fame by guarding a colony of penguins has died at age 15.

Oddball, the fluffy Maremma, died from natural causes after a 10-year career in which he saved a colony of penguins on Middle Island, 150 meters offshore of Warnambool in Victoria's south-west, from extinction.

Oddball, the fluffy Maremma, died from natural causes after a 10-year career in which he saved a colony of penguins on Middle Island, 150 meters offshore of Warnambool in Victoria

Oddball, the fluffy Maremma, died from natural causes after a 10-year career in which he saved a colony of penguins on Middle Island, 150 meters offshore of Warnambool in Victoria's south-west, from extinction.

The population of the penguin population had been cut to fewer than 10 penguins by wild foxes in 2005.

The dwindling population led Alan Marsh, a local chicken farmer, to suggest that a Maremma be employed to protect the penguins after he had success using the Italian sheep dog's protecting his chooks.

After the success of Oddball two dogs, Eudy and Tula, now spend five days a week on the island during breeding season.

The penguin population was estimate at 130 in 2015.

Marsh said that after Oddball became too old to chase foxes she was retired to his poultry farm where she continued to guard the chickens.

Marsh said that after Oddball became too old to chase foxes she was retired to his poultry farm where she continued to guard the chickens.

Marsh said that after Oddball became too old to chase foxes she was retired to his poultry farm where she continued to guard the chickens.

Kylie Gaston, the mayor of Warnambool, said she believed a statue of Oddball, who was the subject of a 2015 feature film, would be a fitting tribute to the dog.

"I'm aware there are quite a few people who think it would be a good idea to have some sort of sculpture, perhaps across from the island and perhaps this is the impetus for that," Gaston told Fairfax Media on Thursday.

"We are indebted to Oddball.

"I think we need to acknowledge her for the work he did in turning our penguin population around.

"Our thoughts are with (Alan) Marsh as well. Oddball was his loyal dog for many years."

Richard Keddie, the producer of the 2015 film which made 7.5 million US dollars, said the news was incredibly sad.

"She and Swampy are heroes," Keddie said.

"Oddball is such an inspiration for what's possible.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat