Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Penguin chick saved

Published: December 22, 2015 
Rescued from an unholy fate, Pengu the chick takes to a penguin box at Tatapouri to await his waterproof feathers.
LUCK OF THE PENGUIN: Jan Spooner, who works for a log marshalling company at the port, with “Pengu”, a blue penguin rescued by port workers yesterday after he was spotted wandering close to heavy machinery. Picture supplied
GISBORNE harbour workers saved a blue penguin chick from being squashed by heavy machinery yesterday morning.
The juvenile seabird, thought to be between six and eight weeks old, was spotted waddling along berth seven at the port close to trucks and other machinery.
“The foreman picked him up and came and said, ‘look what I've found, it's a penguin’,” said Patea McFarlane, who was working at the time.
Pengu, as he was named by the workers, was placed in a cardboard box until Department of Conservation ranger Jamie Quirk came to pick him up. 

“There is most likely a nest around there and he wandered out and got in harm’s way. The ship yard is no place for a penguin. He could have easily been squashed by machinery,” Mr Quirk said.
Pengu is moulting, and will stay in a penguin box at Tatapouri until he has grown waterproof feathers and can enter the water.
“He is in a much safer place now.”
Blue penguins are the smallest species of penguin. It is common to see them off the coast here and some are found nesting in burrows under beachfront houses, particularly at Wainui.
They usually lay their eggs between September and November and parents guard chicks for the first two weeks of their lives.
Adult size (1000 grams) is reached within four to five weeks and the chicks will become fully independent after fledging at around eight weeks, although they are reluctant to leave the area where they were born. 

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