PIC: Bob McPherson
Hungry visitor stops by
11 Nov, 2010Proving a popular tourist destination for visitors of all kinds, Portland has become the temporary home to this rockhopper penguin which made its way to the south-west from its island home in the Indian Ocean. Found on the Lee Breakwater in Portland, the penguin is now being cared for by a sea bird specialist at a shelter until it is strong enough to be released back into the wild.
Penguin researcher Ken Simpson said he believed the penguin was from St. Paul or Amsterdam Islands in the Indian Ocean.
He estimated the penguin was only about 10-months-old and while it was usual for the penguins to be feeding off the southern coast of Australia, it was very rare occurrence for them to come ashore.
Though underweight when it was found Department of Sustainability and Environment senior biodiversity officer Mandy Watson said the penguin had a good chance of recovery.
"It's feeding well, which is always a really good sign," she said.
Depending on how its recovery progresses, Ms Watson expected the penguin to be released in a week or two.
Amsterdam and St Paul Islands are in the southernmost Indian Ocean and are among the most isolated in the world located approximately halfway between South Africa and Western Australia.