NPR : News

Antarctic Penguin Turns Up In New Zealand; Vets Say Condition 'Touch And Go'

New Zealand seems to be the destination of choice for wayward Antarctic penguins.

The BBC reports that a Royal penguin was found Sunday washed ashore on a beach in New Zealand, where another penguin, a three-year-old emperor dubbed "Happy Feet," turned up in June 2011. Months later, Happy Feet was released, ostensibly destined for a return to his homeland. Sadly though, he is believed to have been eaten, possibly by a shark, sometime after his release into the Southern Ocean.

Veterinarians say the latest arrival, "Happy Feet, Jr.," is being cared for at a Wellington Zoo. Scientists there believe the "young male" may have departed about a year ago from a breeding colony on Macquarie Island, more than 1,200 miles away, and drifting been around since then.

The BBC quotes Lisa Argilla, a vet at the zoo, as saying the flightless aquatic bird had possibly struggled to find enough food and come ashore to go through his seasonal molting.

"It's very weak, doesn't want to stand. It's making very small progress every day but it's still in critical condition," Ms. Argilla told the TVNZ channel.

Argilla told the French news agency AFP that Happy Feet, Jr. was having some kidney trouble and she said "hopefully we can reverse that, feed him up and bring him back to good health," but she added that it's "touch and go for at the moment."

The penguin was found on Sunday by Jenny Boyne, who was walking along Tora beach on New Zealand's Wairarapa coast, says The New Zealand Herald.

"She saved this bird's life. I don't think he would've survived another night without veterinary attention," Argilla said.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


Manic And Depressed, 'I Didn't Like Who I Was,' Says Comic Chris Gethard

Gethard tells stories of hitting rock bottom in his new one-man off-Broadway show, which is billed as a comedy about "suicide, depression, alcoholism and all the other funniest parts of life."

2,500 Years Ago, This Brew Was Buried With The Dead. A Brewery Has Revived It

In an ancient burial plot in what is now Germany, scientists uncovered a cauldron with remnants of an alcoholic beverage. So they teamed up with a Milwaukee brewery to re-create the recipe.

Log Cabin Republicans Decline To Endorse Trump Despite Pro-LGBT Leanings

NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Gregory T. Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, about the organization's decision not to endorse Donald Trump, even though Angelo calls Trump the most pro-LGBT presidential nominee in Republican Party history.

Presidential Campaigns Blast AT&T-Time Warner Merger

Donald Trump said it put "too much concentration of power in the hands of too few" and Tim Kaine called for "less concentration, especially in the media."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.