Australia deploys sheepdogs to save tiny penguins from foxes

Phillip Root, who takes care of the Maremma sheepdogs that protect the native little penguin population on Middle Island, Australia, takes the dogs for a walk on Oct. 21, 2015. The little penguins, the name of the smallest penguin species, were being decimated by red foxes on the island. (David Maurice Smith/The New York Times)

Phillip Root, who takes care of the Maremma sheepdogs that protect the native little penguin population on Middle Island, Australia, takes the dogs for a walk on Oct. 21, 2015. The little penguins, the name of the smallest penguin species, were being decimated by red foxes on the island. (David Maurice Smith/The New York Times)

Fantastic story of how a farmer saved a species from extinction with sheep dogs when foxes had decimated the population of a tiny penguin species.

Australia deploys sheepdogs to save tiny penguins from foxes

A little penguin, the name of the smallest penguin species, rests in a crack in the  rocks on Middle Island, Australia, Oct. 21, 2015. Maremma, a particularly territorial breed of sheepdog, have been deployed to the island to protect the birds, whose population was being decimated by red foxes. (David Maurice Smith/The New York Times)

A little penguin, the name of the smallest penguin species, rests in a crack in the rocks on Middle Island, Australia, Oct. 21, 2015. Maremma, a particularly territorial breed of sheepdog, have been deployed to the island to protect the birds, whose population was being decimated by red foxes. (David Maurice Smith/The New York Times)

An Australian farmer’s simple solution to the killing off of a little penguin population became local legend and the subject of a popular film, “Oddball.”