'Happy Feet Jr.' found stranded in New Zealand

Feb 20, 2013
A penguin dubbed Happy Feet junior, has been found stranded in New Zealand, February 20, 2013. 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.

A penguin dubbed Happy Feet junior has been found stranded 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) 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 .

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 told AFP.

"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 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 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.

Explore further: 'Killer sperm' prevents mating between worm species

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Happy Feet the penguin begins long swim home

Sep 04, 2011

Happy Feet, the lost penguin who became a worldwide celebrity after he washed up on a New Zealand beach was released back into the Southern Ocean on Sunday to begin a long swim home to Antarctica.

Happy Feet the penguin missing in Southern Ocean

Sep 12, 2011

Scientists tracking Happy Feet, the wayward penguin who became a worldwide celebrity after washing up on a New Zealand beach, said Monday they had lost contact with the giant bird.

New Zealand's lost penguin sets sail for home

Aug 29, 2011

A wayward emperor penguin that found international fame after washing up lost on a New Zealand beach made a low-key exit from Wellington Monday aboard a research ship bound for his home waters.

Concerns for New Zealand's wayward penguin

Jun 24, 2011

An Emperor penguin that washed up lost on a New Zealand beach this week was taken to Wellington Zoo Friday after its health deteriorated, wildlife experts said. ...

Recommended for you

'Killer sperm' prevents mating between worm species

16 hours ago

The classic definition of a biological species is the ability to breed within its group, and the inability to breed outside it. For instance, breeding a horse and a donkey may result in a live mule offspring, ...

Rare Sri Lankan leopards born in French zoo

19 hours ago

Two rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs have been born in a zoo in northern France, a boost for a sub-species that numbers only about 700 in the wild, the head of the facility said Tuesday.

Researcher reveals how amphibians crossed continents

21 hours ago

There are more than 7,000 known species of amphibians that can be found in nearly every type of ecosystem on six continents. But there have been few attempts to understand exactly when and how frogs, toads, ...

User comments : 0