Little Blue Penguin

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC is urging people to contact them before intervening with nature after receiving a report a little blue penguin/kororā was uplifted from a beach in Auckland near its nest and taken to the Auckland Zoo.

Date:  22 December 2021

The kororā was not showing any signs of distress and the member of the public believed it to be in danger although it was not. The kororā was unharmed and is with Native Bird Rescue on Waiheke to be released at a later date.

Department of Conservation (DOC) Biodiversity Ranger Olivia Keane says that while people may have good intentions, that may not always lead to good outcomes for wildlife.

“We understand this individual meant no harm and saw wildlife which they may not be familiar with and made the call to relocate the bird to a wildlife care facility,” says Olivia Keane.

“Although the kororā was unharmed there is a high risk that this situation could have caused serious harm and or death.

“Without any knowledge of the wildlife you may come across, the best thing you can do is to always contact DOC before taking any action.

"Different wildlife require different needs and we have experts within DOC and other facilities that can assist public with any queries.”

Kororā are protected under the Wildlife Act and are classified as at risk or declining. The maximum penalties for the disturbance of protected species are a fine of $100,000 and/or imprisonment for two years.

“We can expect a lot of people out enjoying the summer, either at the beach, at a reserve or enjoying a hike out on a track. During these moments out in nature you will come across wildlife, and it’s important you to leave wildlife alone. If you think wildlife needs help the best thing you can do is call DOC before you step in,” says Olivia Keane.

If a penguin is clearly injured or in immediate danger, contact the emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468). Try and give the exact location and take photos to help us make an assessment.

If you see anyone harming or interfering with wildlife and any other allegations of New Zealand native wildlife crime, contact 0800 DOC HOT or


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