Sad end for 'Happy Feet Jr.' in New Zealand

Feb 21, 2013
This undated handout photo obtained from Wellington Zoo on February 20, 2013 shows the penguin dubbed Happy Feet junior in New Zealand. The penguin that washed up in New Zealand 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) from his home has died despite intensive efforts to save him, Wellington Zoo said Friday.

A penguin dubbed Happy Feet junior that washed up in New Zealand 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) from his home has died despite intensive efforts to save him, Wellington Zoo said Friday.

A veterinary team spent five days caring for the bird, a juvenile royal penguin which had drifted far from a breeding colony in sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island after spending an estimated 12 months at sea.

But the zoo's chief vet Lisa Argilla said the penguin died overnight as malnutrition and took their toll.

"As the penguin arrived nearly three kilograms (6.6 pounds) underweight, it had absolutely no reserves and subsequently we suspect that this led to multiple , following the kidney failure diagnosed on its arrival," she said.

"Wildlife medicine is a very challenging field and though we did the best we could, sadly the penguin didn't survive."

The bird's discovery revived memories of the original Happy Feet, an that was found stranded near Wellington in June 2011, attracting worldwide interest during an eight-week recuperation at the zoo.

A New Zealand 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.

Explore further: Aphrodisiac for fish and frogs discovered

Related Stories

'Happy Feet Jr.' found stranded in New Zealand

Feb 20, 2013

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.

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.

Recommended for you

Telling the time of day by color

10 hours ago

Research by scientists at The University of Manchester has revealed that the colour of light has a major impact on how the brain clock measures time of day and on how the animals' physiology and behavior adjust accordingly. ...

Aphrodisiac for fish and frogs discovered

15 hours ago

A supplement simply added to water has been shown to boost reproduction in nematodes (roundworms), molluscs, fish and frogs – and researchers believe it could work for humans too.

Evolution puts checks on virgin births

15 hours ago

It seems unnatural that a species could survive without having sex. Yet over the ages, evolution has endowed females of certain species of amphibians, reptiles and fish with the ability to clone themselves, ...

Humans can't resist those puppy-dog eyes

Apr 16, 2015

When humans and their four-legged, furry best friends look into one another's eyes, there is biological evidence that their bond strengthens, researchers report.

Roundworm parasite targets canine eyes

Apr 16, 2015

(HealthDay)—A small number of dogs and cats across the United States have been infected by a roundworm parasite that targets the eye, according to a new report.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.