Saturday, July 2, 2011
About 300 grams of sand, rocks and liquid were flushed out of the stomach of the wayward emperor penguin in New Zealand after an operation on Saturday.
The Antarctic native had the stomach flushing at Wellington Zoo and is now recuperating in its temperature-controlled room, the Stuff website reported.
Wellington Zoo veterinary manager Lisa Argilla said she would wait for x-ray results before deciding if the penguin, dubbed Happy Feet, needed another stomach flush.
She said the penguin was digesting its fish milkshakes, which was a good sign.
Argilla said invasive surgery could still happen if the penguin's health deteriorated, but she hoped to avoid it due to the greater chance of death.
"There are heaps of other complications associated with surgery as well," she said.
If Happy Feet, who's sex is still unknown, recovers fully, the penguin is set to be released into the Southern Ocean to fend for itself rather than being transported to Antarctica.
It is only the second emperor penguin known to have landed in New Zealand. The first one was found at Southland's Oreti Beach in 1967.