Eight yellow-eyed penguin chicks cared for at a conservation reserve after the mysterious death of dozens of penguins in Otago Peninsula are being released.
Many were found sick, or orphaned by the death of about 60 yellow eyed penguins this year. Researchers are still trying to find out why the penguins died.
The chicks have been looked after at Dunedin's Penguin Palace conservation reserve for about a month while they return to good health.
Penguin Place manager Lisa King says the birds were given a big meal on Friday morning before being taken to Pipikaretu Beach.
"We place them on the beach and then we hope that they've got enough sense to go straight out to the water.
"That's what they do in the wild - so we're hoping that they'll just see the bigger swimming pool and just go."
Ms King says they hope to release another eight chicks next week.