Happy Feet jnr found in New Zealand

2013-02-20 08:20
The lost emperor penguin found in New Zealand will be set free. (AP, file)

The lost emperor penguin found in New Zealand will be set free. (AP, file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Wellington - A penguin dubbed Happy Feet junior has been found stranded 2 000km from home in New Zealand, reviving memories of another wayward penguin that washed up in 2011.

The latest wandering stray was discovered close to death on the coast south of Wellington over the weekend and taken to the capital's zoo suffering from malnutrition and kidney failure.

Wellington Zoo veterinary surgeon Lisa Argilla said it was a juvenile royal penguin, which had drifted far from a breeding colony in sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island and was believed to be the first ever seen in the North Island.

"He's probably left Macquarie in February last year and been caught in a current as he's been feeding and ended up here," she said.

"He's in terrible condition, absolutely emaciated with his kidneys not functioning. Hopefully we can reverse that, feed him up and bring him back to good health but it's touch and go at the moment."

The original Happy Feet, named after the hit 2006 animated film, was an emperor penguin stranded near Wellington in June 2011, attracting worldwide interest during its eight-week recuperation at the zoo.

A New Zealand research ship eventually released the penguin into the Southern Ocean after it received visits from celebrities such as Stephen Fry and best wishes from New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

However, a tracking device attached to the bird stopped transmitting after a few days, sparking fears it had been eaten by a shark.

Argilla said if the latest penguin made a recovery it would be released off the coast of the South Island, where royal penguins occasionally turn up, and left to swim back home.

"They're amazing at navigation so that shouldn't be a problem for him," she said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    marine life

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Wallabies 'defend like dogs'
Loubscher expecting 'direct' Wales
Carter desperate to reach RWC final
Boks want to continue upward curve
Traffic Alerts

You may find it hard to focus on the mundane routines as the greener pastures seem so tempting. It is a good time to expand your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.