May 22, 2019

Happy Feet the lost Emperor Penguin in good shape after surgery

Ok so Antarctica is where? Newswarped thinks that Happy Feet might be a boy penguin because it refused to ask for directions and ended up 3000km from home.

Happy Feet, the emperor penguin who managed to end up on a New Zealand beach 3000km from its home in Antarctica is doing well after its third operation.

Happy Feet is only the second known Emperor Penguin to make it as far as New Zealand. Locals and Department of Conservation staff keep a close watch on Happy Feet in the days after its arrival on Peka Peka beach, but its condition deteriorated.

The penguin was taken to Wellington Zoo and has had sand and twigs removed from its stomach.

Penguins usually eat snow for hydration and to keep cool. However, experts believe it ate the sand because it was confused about where it was.

Zoo spokeswoman Kate Baker said this morning that Happy Feet was doing well and remained in a stable condition.

The penguin would have another X-ray tomorrow which would determine if any further procedures were required but zoo staff were hoping the bird would pass the remaining sand naturally.

The emperor penguin, whose gender is unknown pending DNA results, was keeping cool by staying in an air conditioned room with crushed ice.

A penguin advisory committee, including experts from Massey University, the zoo, Te Papa and the Conservation Department, would decide in the next few days what to do with Happy Feet.

Returning the bird to Antarctica was not feasible as there were no flights there until later in the year. Experts have also advised that large birds could suffer trauma if transported long distances.

Massey University professor John Cockrem said the best option for the penguin was to release it in to the sea off the south coast of New Zealand.

“We would be releasing it into its own environment and a satellite tag could be used to track its progress,” he said.

Newswarped thinks it is good to sometimes have a break from a world full of violence, disease and hunger just to focus on something small like trying to save a lost penguin.