Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Percy the Penguin Ready To Go Home

Percy the yellow-eyed penguin heads for the sea at Bushy Beach. Photo by Sally Rae.

Percy the penguin bounces back in style

Home » Your Town » Oamaru
By Sally Rae on Tue, 21 Oct 2008
The Regions: North Otago | Your Town: Oamaru

Percy the penguin is one high-flying bird.

After more than two months of rehabilitation and veterinary care, Percy, a 1-year-old yellow-eyed penguin, was released at Bushy Beach recently by local residents Colin Wolverson and Sue Downton and Oamaru Veterinary Services vet Claire Muir and quickly headed out to sea.

Percy was found unwell and first treated for fungal and bacterial infections in August.

Department of Conservation staff and Mr Wolverson and Ms Downton noticed the penguin, though recovering well from the infections, was not oiling himself.

Doc ranger Kevin Pearce said he could not reach around to his oiling gland.

There seemed to be something wrong with his neck and, after consultation between staff at Oamaru Veterinary Services and Massey University, it was decided to send the bird to the university's wildlife hospital at Palmerston North.

A CT scan found Percy could not reach his oil gland because of damaged ligament in his neck.

The ligament had returned to its usual flexibility and the oil gland was easy for him to reach.

Percy's health and weight had returned to normal and, with well-oiled feathers, he was now waterproof and able to go out to sea.

Percy had returned to his old stomping ground "very round and very feisty", Doc ranger Helen Jones said.

Mr Wolverson, who cared for Percy for about three and a-half weeks, said he enjoyed his involvement with the yellow-eyed penguins.

He chatted to tourists, helped them locate the birds and gave them information.

The couple were now looking after two other penguins - Kenneth, a juvenile yellow-eyed with a dislocated toe, and Joan, a little blue with a "burnt bum", with guidance from Massey University and Oamaru Veterinary Services.

Story courtesy of Otago Daily Times @

No comments: