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(BNN) — A series of bird-nappings on Campbell Island has citizens fearing for their lives, with local police saying they are on the hunt for two Subantarctic suspects.

“A skua stole my baby!” said distraught mother, Ria Rockhopper, whose second egg was allegedly snatched by notorious Campbell Island egg-napper Skua Shady.

The incident was caught on CCTV and shows one Ria, fighting beak and claw to save her un-hatched child. At the end of the fight, the suspect throws Ria into a rock before stealing her egg and taking it to the edge of the colony to crack and eat.

CCTV footage shows a skua stealing Ria Rockhopper’s egg.

The assailant has been known to steal eggs and young chicks from rockhopper nests, having also worked as part of a two-bird gang with one bird harassing the penguin while the other steals an egg from the nest.

“This predator has always preyed on children. That’s why we breed in these big colonies. The whole community is fed up with gangs of Skua swooping in to steal our young!” said the young mother.

“I’ll do anything to protect my kids. Rockhoppers don’t give up!”

Skua egg crimes are a massive problem for Rockhopper Penguins on Campbell Island (Photo by Kyle Morrison).

Newly elected Campbell Island mayor, Rocky Hopper, ran with the promise of cracking down on egg crime on the Subantarctic islands.

“I don’t care if I ruffle feathers, I intend to make the rocks safe again,” he said.

“We have huge challenges in the ocean with warmer seas and less food to eat. The rocks should be our sanctuary.”

A spokes-seal for the Subantarctic District Police said officers would be continuing their investigation “with some urgency” right after their afternoon nap.

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