Penguin gets endoscopy

2011-06-27 08:53

Wellington, New Zealand – Officials say an Antarctic penguin that wound up stranded on a New Zealand beach and eating sand is recovering after a very human treatment: an endoscopy.

It may be months before the young emperor penguin, dubbed Happy Feet, recovers.

Doctors guided a camera on a tube through the penguin’s swollen intestines and flushed its stomach to remove the swallowed sand, which it apparently mistook for snow.

Penguins eat snow to hydrate themselves.

Zoo spokesperson Kate Baker said the penguin is now dining on fish slurry.

The bird was first spotted last week. Emperors typically spend their entire lives around Antarctica, rarely encountering humans.

Conservation official Peter Simpson says it could remain at the zoo for three more months recovering.

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