A penguin from a famed colony in Melbourne has died after it was allegedly attacked by a group of young men.
Victoria Police say the little penguin, or eudyptula minor, died in the early hours on October 27 after it was reportedly thrown at a wall and kicked after being taken from St Kilda Pier and Breakwater at 2:17am.
Five men, believed to be in their early twenties, were captured on CCTV taking the penguin and were later seen with it in front of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron at 2:25am.
It's then alleged the penguin was thrown against a wall and later kicked while walking along Jacka Boulevard.
"The male believed to have captured the penguin had a light complexion, was wearing a white T-shirt, grey pants, black shoes and had short dreadlocks in a ponytail. This individual was later seen shirtless after exiting the pier," Victoria Police say.
"The male observed kicking the penguin had dark complexion, was believed to be wearing a black Dolce & Gabbana hoodie, black pants with a single-solid white stripe, black shoes, and a black cap."
If caught, the men face fines of up to A$90,000 (NZ$93,542) or up to two years in jail.
It isn't the first violent attack on little penguins at St Kilda Pier. In 2016, two from the famous colony were brutalised and left for dead in two separate attacks.