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
- Video of Happy Feet’s First Swim
Watch Happy Feet’s first swim at Wellington Zoo.
- The Ballad of Happy Feet Video
Learn more about Happy Feet from Don Wilson’s music video.
- Emperor Penguin Facts and Pictures
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