Sheepdog Retires After Protecting Penguins For Eight Years On Australia's Middle Island
A loveable sheepdog has decided to retire from her post as penguin protector on Australia's Middle Island.
The island is located just off the coast near Warrnambool and Tula has been guarding it for the past eight years.
However, after a brilliant, hard fought innings, Tula wants to spend the rest of her days relaxing in the sun and not having to worry about predators pinching any of the adorable penguins on the island.
The Middle Island Penguin Project wrote a statement on Facebook saying: "Her, along with her sister Eudy are the true heroes of the project and without them the project would not have been so successful.
"We want to thank Tula so much for her tireless efforts. Tula is much loved by the project staff, the Warrnambool community and the wider community of supporters of the project.
"She will remain a part of the project team and instead of protecting Middle Island, she will continue to protect chickens at a farm that the dogs rest at and help us continue to train the younger guardian dogs.
"Please join us in thanking Tula for being the best penguin guardian all these years!"
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What a bloody good doggo!
Tula was even gifted with a delicious dog-friendly cake to celebrate the massive milestone which would rival any other retirement party.
The Penguin Project adds: "Middle Island is home to seabirds such as the Short-tailed Shearwater, the Black-faced Cormorant and the Little Penguin.
"The Little Penguin population had been decimated by fox predation over the years, with an estimated 600 penguins in 1999 reduced to less than 10 by 2005.
"Since 2006 Maremma Guardian Dogs have been trained to protect Middle Island's Little Penguins from foxes, allowing the population to slowly build to well over 100 penguins today.
"This world first award winning project relies on the assistance of businesses, organisations and volunteers to help with penguin counts, penguin breeding monitoring and improving habitat for penguins by revegetating areas with native species."
Tula was brought to the island and was taught how to fend off penguin predators since she was just two-years-old.
Now at the tender age of 11, she's ready to have some rest and relaxation, with her owners saying she's suffering a bit with arthritis.
But not to fear, maremma pup Mezzo has been trained in the ways of the protector and will hopefully guard Middle Island for the next eight years.
Featured Image Credit: Middle Island Penguin Project