A MAREMMA named Esta has been taken on by Warrnambool City Council in Australia to protect the island's penguins and birds.
Dogs have been the biggest culprits in killing penguins at the island, dramatically reducing their population from 2000 a few years ago to 29 today, and have been completely banned from the area. However, the City Council physical services director Neil Allen said the Maremma would not be like its domestic counterparts.
He said Maremmas have a natural instinct to herd and protect animals within their environment from predators and are often used to protect sheep and chickens. Councillor Phillpot said the owner of the dog, Allan Marsh, had used Maremma dogs to protect his chickens.