The woman who started the Penguin Centre at Granite Island has pleaded with the thieves who stole two sick birds to return them.Granite Island Penguin Center co-ordinator Dorothy Longden, who helped establish the center in 2003 to care for sick or injured birds, said the stolen penguins were unlikely to survive without specialist care. Little Penguins Kennie and Alice were taken between 11.30am on Wednesday, May 30, and 4.30pm last Friday, police said. As told to the Penguin Post, Mrs Longden said thieves must be responsible after the Little Penguins – also known as Fairy Penguins – went missing from a vermin-proof enclosure from which it was impossible for the birds to escape. “We give up our time and we’ve given up our life to help these birds here and it’s a lovely experience for people who come from all over the world to see,” Mrs Longden said. “It is a very, very low act and we want them back… I would like to ask why they’ve taken them and to give them back, please. “If you want to be around penguins, come and help us here as volunteers.” Mrs Longden said she had hand-reared Alice, 5, and Kennie, 2, since they were chicks. “We’ve been walking around the island for the last three nights calling their names,” she said.
“(Alice) would come to meet me when called but we’ve had no luck. “All we have done is get cold and wet. She would be so scared.” Kennie and Alice, who require daily special dietary and vitamins needs, are unlikely to survive outside the care centre. “These are penguins that can’t be released,” Mrs Longden said. “They are found injured and brought here and they need specialist treatment. They are not going to survive.” Alice is micro-chipped and has a medical condition that forces her to limp. Kennie has been known to be aggressive and bite. Mrs Longden said the 11 remaining penguins at the centre were missing Kennie and Alice.