15 January 2011

Manly penguin wardens quit after alleged assault

AUSTRALIA - Two of Manly Cove's penguin wardens have left the volunteer patrol programme, fearing for their safety after one of their number was allegedly assaulted on duty.

Johnyth Burton resigned after she was allegedly splashed and pushed over by James Oatley on New Year's Day. She and head warden Angela Treichler were protecting the little penguins from a dog which had arrived on a boat with group of people that included Mr Oatley.

The incident has understandably affected the volunteers, and a second warden has now resigned. Head warden Angela Treichler, who started the patrols six years ago, told The Manly Daily, "They are just scared." And who can blame them?

Ms Treichler said that they had excellent support from the local police, but would like two extra council rangers to back up their nightly patrols and "to be there for the protection of people and animals".

Henry Wong, Manly Council general manager, said the council would do "whatever it takes" to protect the penguin colony, which as risen from one to five pairs since Ms Treichler started the patrols.

I have great admiration for Mrs Burton who, despite the alleged assault, has not given up on trying to protecting the endangered birds. Ms Treichler told The Sydney Morning Herald that the 72-year-old will continue helping with "the penguin politics".

"We have to fight developers and do all sorts of things and she is great at that," she said. 

Read related post: Penguin warden allegedly assaulted while on duty

Sources
Manly penguin wardens quit by Peter Bodkin, 11 January 2011, The Manly Daily
Warden quits the front line after beach dramas by Tim Barlass, 9 January 2011, The Sydney Morning Herald

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