Not all heroes—in real life and on the screen—wear capes. In fact, to a group of penguins in Australia, their hero has four paws and the unlikely name of Oddball.
As all superhero stories, Oddball’s started with a great tragedy. In 2005 a pack a wolves swam across a channel from mainland Australia to Middle Island and nearly eradicated a colony of the world’s smallest penguins. The birds, known as little penguins or little blue penguins —and yes, they are as adorable as they sound—had 360 of their kind gobbled up in just two nights, bringing their species’ population to incredibly low numbers.
“We went from a point where we had around 800 penguins down to where we could only find four,” said Peter Abbott of the Penguin Preservation Project to BBC News.
In these dark times, Oddball came to the rescue. The Maremma sheepdog was already used to guarding his farmer’s chickens, goats, and sheep from predators so when his owner put him to guard the penguins, he was ready for the job.
Since Oddball’s arrival, no foxes dared going in the island to bother the penguins anymore because of Oddball’s scent and barking and not one penguin has been attacked.
“Putting a dog on the island changed the hierarchy,” explained Abbott.
Oddball’s heroic protection of the little birds is so impressive he now joined the like of Spiderman, Superman and Thor getting his own self-titled feature film. Oddball, the movie, premiered in Australia earlier this year.
Original Story on ecorazzi.com
Fred’s Note; Have not had a chance to view the movie yet but the link to full version is here