Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Little Blue Penguin takes tentative steps (Video)


Little blue penguin takes recovers enough to head back to sea after hospital stint.

After being nursed back to health by wildlife experts, a little blue penguin seemed to be of two minds about being released back into the wild.

Wildbase Hospital staff freed the female bird, which was found starving on Wanganui Beach two months ago, on Manawatu’s Himatangi Beach today.

Reluctant to leave its carrier and then the company of assembled staff, with a little nudging the penguin finally took to the waters of the beach, which has an established little blue penguin population.

Wildbase veterinarian Kerri Morgan said the bird was lucky to be alive when found.

“While blood tests, X-rays and samples indicated there was nothing medically wrong, it was starved and emaciated, weighing a mere 543 grams.”

Daily feeds of salmon were key to getting the penguin back up to a healthy weight of 900g, after staff slowly re-introduced food, Morgan said.

On top of such a luxury diet, the penguin also had its own private pool at the Palmerston North centre to work on waterproofing its coat and testing its fitness.

Normally animals are returned to the same location they were found at, Morgan said.

“But there are no known local little blue penguin colonies at Wanganui, so we suspect she may have been a bit off course. We’ve erred on the side of caution and decided to release her at Himatangi.”
It was hoped with the bird’s early-morning release it would find “friends” and a place to sleep - though possibly not of the standard which it had become accustomed to - before nightfall.


No comments: