September 2011

“Happy Feet” Visits New Zealand

Emperor Penguin in New ZealandEmperor Penguin in New Zealand

Emperor Penguin in New Zealand
An emperor penguin appeared on Peka Peka Beach in New Zealand.

An emperor penguin swam about 2,000 miles from home! He traveled from Antarctica to New Zealand. No one knows why he swam so far. Some people think he took a “wrong turn” and got lost.

Christine Wilton first saw the emperor penguin when she was walking her dog on Peka Peka Beach. She asked New Zealand’s Department of Conservation to check that the penguin was okay. Soon many people came to Peka Peka to see him. He was nicknamed “Happy Feet” after the popular movie about penguins.

Happy Feet got sick from eating sticks and sand. He thought the white sand was snow. He was taken to Wellington Zoo so that animal doctors could take care of him. There he ate salmon and swam in a water tank when the weather was cold.

After two months, Happy Feet was ready to go home. On August 29, he was put on board a ship headed for the Southern Ocean. There Happy Feet was released back into the wild.

Image credit: ©AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Mark Mitchell

Related Links

Question 1
How far did Happy Feet swim?

Question 2
Why did Happy Feet eat sand?

Rate this story:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars