Happy Feet - Antarctic penguin visits New Zealand

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Happy Feet - Antarctic penguin visits New Zealand


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Old 28th June 2011, 12:56 AM
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Default Happy Feet - Antarctic penguin visits New Zealand

this story has been getting plenty of media coverage, I've seen it on CNN and BBC news, Thai television and the Bangkok Post has run several articles including a big colour pic on Saturday.
Nothing like a 'cute animal story' - following article from Portland, Maine, USA



WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A young emperor penguin stranded in New Zealand has survived two medical procedures and now has an offer of a lift home.

Yet the aquatic bird that many are calling Happy Feet -- after the lighthearted 2006 movie -- is not out of danger yet. The penguin remained on an intravenous drip Saturday and faces another procedure Monday to remove more sand from its digestive system.

If it does pull through, a businessman wants to take it by boat to Antarctica next February.

Happy Feet arrived on Peka Peka Beach, about 40 miles northwest of Wellington, last Monday, the first time in 44 years that an emperor penguin has been spotted in the wild in New Zealand. Typically, emperors spend their entire lives in and around Antarctica.

At first Happy Feet seemed fine, but as the week progressed, the bird became more lethargic. It ate a lot of sand, apparently mistaking it for snow, which emperor penguins eat in Antarctica to hydrate themselves.

By Friday, conservation officials decided its condition had worsened to the point that it would likely die without intervention. So they transported the penguin in a tub of ice to the Wellington Zoo.

Zoo spokeswoman Kate Baker said the bird was put on anesthesia Friday while veterinarians flushed its throat and stomach with water to remove sand. A second procedure on Saturday was more of the same, yet the penguin's digestive system still remained clogged.

Baker said staff plan a third flushing procedure Monday. The bird remained on an intravenous drip Saturday to help it rehydrate.

New Zealand investment adviser Gareth Morgan, who is leading an expedition to Antarctica next February, on Saturday offered Happy Feet a trip home aboard a Russian icebreaker. But it would not be for another eight months.

"Of course until that time Happy Feet will have to be cared for here in Wellington, where we're lucky enough to have a great community of wildlife experts, capable not just of pumping sand but also ensuring this wayfaring fellow is hosted appropriately until it's time to set sail," Morgan wrote on his website.


Last edited by Song_Si; 31st July 2011 at 01:05 PM. Reason: title
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Old 28th June 2011, 01:06 AM
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ABC World News Now: Lost Penguin in New Zealand

Youtube clip of ABC news video


Emperor penguin a global sensation
Last updated 11:48 28/06/2011


HE'S WORTH IT: About 100 people watch at the Wellington Zoo operating theatre as zoo manager vet services, Lisa Argilla, left, gastroenterologist John Wyeth, Kim Struthers and Elena Eliadou flush debris from the penguin's stomach.

LATEST: The emperor penguin who took a wrong turn and ended up on a New Zealand beach has now become a global sensation.

New Zealand media have reported extensively on Happy Feet, which is the second-known emperor penguin to have been seen on our shores.

But it's not just Kiwis who are falling in love with the penguin that swam more than 3000km to reach Peka Peka beach, north of Wellington, last week.

Happy Feet is one of the most famous birds in the world - with The Guardian, Daily Mail and CNN all reporting on its extraordinary journey.

The bird was also the talk of the Twitter world, with many posts signalling they hoped it would soon recover from its illness and be safely returned to its home in Antarctica.

After arriving at Peka Peka beach it became increasingly ill and was taken to Wellington Zoo where it is undergoing treatment to remove sand and twigs 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.

The bird has had three procedures to remove sand from its stomach, including an operation yesterday, which was performed by Wellington Hospital gastroenterologist John Wyeth, who usually performs on humans.

About 100 people watched the three-hour endoscopy.

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.

Businessman Gareth Morgan had offered the bird a seat on a Russian icebreaker ship in February.

The only previous recording of an emperor penguin in New Zealand was at Southland's Oreti Beach in 1967.

Zoo staff said that penguin was released in Foveaux Strait.


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Old 28th June 2011, 01:09 AM
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Lost Penguin More Lively After Surgery in NZ
Associated Press


The penguin that ended up in New Zealand after making a wrong turn was eating fish and continuing to gain strength after medical treatment. Surgery Monday removed sand and sticks from its digestive system. (June 27)

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Old 28th June 2011, 02:59 PM
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How much did Happy Feet cost to fix?
28/06/2011
It has been a lot of work for a lot of people, but the only extra costs incurred by the treatment of Happy Feet have come from a rented air-conditioning unit.

Moana Fisheries has donated ice and fish, and Dr John Wyeth operated free of charge, zoo chief executive Karen Fifield said.
"From a ratepayer's perspective, I don't think it's exorbitant costs for this animal."
The air-conditioner was costing $297 a week. Meanwhile, the penguin appeared to be bolstering zoo attendance figures, she said.
The Conservation Department's Peter Simpson said the only costs to it had been staff time, and the petrol for the ride from Peka Peka to the zoo.


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Old 29th June 2011, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Song_Si View Post
How much did Happy Feet cost to fix?
28/06/2011
It has been a lot of work for a lot of people, but the only extra costs incurred by the treatment of Happy Feet have come from a rented air-conditioning unit.

Moana Fisheries has donated ice and fish, and Dr John Wyeth operated free of charge, zoo chief executive Karen Fifield said.
"From a ratepayer's perspective, I don't think it's exorbitant costs for this animal."
The air-conditioner was costing $297 a week. Meanwhile, the penguin appeared to be bolstering zoo attendance figures, she said.
The Conservation Department's Peter Simpson said the only costs to it had been staff time, and the petrol for the ride from Peka Peka to the zoo.

The publicity to NZ is worth a fortune.

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Old 29th June 2011, 09:27 AM
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Happy Feet to be released into sea
Wednesday Jun 29, 2011



Happy Feet the emperor penguin is to be released in to the Southern Ocean once it is fit, an advisory group has decided today.

The group has agreed the preferred option for the emperor penguin is to release it in the Southern Ocean, the northern edge of the known range of juvenile emperor penguins.

"The reason for not returning the penguin directly to Antarctica is that emperor penguins of this age are usually found north of Antarctica on pack ice and in the open ocean," DOC biodiversity spokesperson Peter Simpson said.

The penguin will not be released until it is deemed well enough to have a reasonable chance of survival and until that time the penguin will reside at Wellington Zoo.

Plans are still in the early stages however, and more research is required into the logistics and practicalities of this option, including costs.

The bird remains in a stable condition at Wellington Zoo following an operation to remove sand and sticks from its stomach this week.

X-rays this morning showed the penguin is continuing to pass sand and sticks naturally, spokeswoman Kate Baker said, and it will be x-rayed again either on Friday or Saturday.

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Old 2nd July 2011, 01:12 AM
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Happy Feet back on operating table
Last updated 11:07 02/07/2011



The emperor penguin dubbed Happy Feet returned to the operating theatre this morning.

Wellington Zoo spokeswoman Kate Baker said the penguin was due to have another stomach flushing procedure at 11am.

Following the procedure he was expected to be x-rayed about 12.30pm.

It is hoped the procedure would remove more sand and debris from its stomach and the x-ray will show if more surgery is needed.

****************

Bluebird Chips/Crisps advert, they've used penguins in their advertising since late 1980s


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Old 4th July 2011, 12:54 AM
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Gareth Morgan, the businessman who has offered to take this penguin back to the Antarctic in February, has launched an appeal to help cover costs, pledging to match donations up to $10,000.


Happy Feet the emperor penguin cools down on ice post-op

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Old 6th July 2011, 12:11 PM
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Happy Feet tracked by Hawke's Bay company
CAITLIN NOBES | 6th July 2011



Happy Feet the emperor penguin will take a piece of Hawke's Bay with him when he travels home to Antarctica.

A Havelock North firm is producing a tracking device to record the penguin's journey.

Sirtrack CEO Mike Kelly said the company offered to make a device because it was an unusual case and a way to help. "It's really interesting. It's not often you get to track an emperor penguin off our coast," Mr Kelly said.

"It's a good way to demonstrate how our units work."

The company had previously made a tracker for Tarly the loggerhead turtle, which was found injured in Northland. The turtle made it all the way to Chile before the tracker stopped working.

The device was not permanent, it would fall off when Happy Feet moulted

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Old 25th July 2011, 03:14 AM
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Penguin hits the pool
Last updated 14:06 25/07/2011



Happy Feet had his first swim in a saltwater pool this afternoon.

Wellington Zoo spokeswoman Kate Baker said the emperor penguin went in the pool about 2.30pm.

The penguin, who has been recovering well at the zoo, has been kept in a small ice-filled room.

*****

As Wellington is experiencing some very cold weather, including snow on the hills, they could maybe take him outside . . .


Snow on the hills behind Eastbourne, Wellington

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