Emperor Penguin will leave New Zealand

First, listen to June 25th 2011 for background to this story.

The Emperor Penguin found near Wellington six weeks ago is now well. He has been called “Happy Feet” which is the name of a dancing penguin in a movie.

He was taken to Wellington zoo when he became ill. A Wellington medical specialist used an endoscope to put a camera down his oesophagus. The camera was on the end of an 80cm tube and the doctor had to put it in carefully on a 180 degree angle. The camera showed sand and sticks in his stomach. Water was poured into his stomach to help remove the sand and sticks. About 100 people watched the operation through a glass window.

The penguin is now well and eating 2kg of salmon a day. His weight has gone from 22kg six weeks ago to 26kg now. He is living in an air conditioned cage with a pool. It is costing about $10,000 to keep him at the zoo but people have donated money. More people are now visiting the zoo to see the penguin.

The plan is to put the penguin on a boat which will take him south of New Zealand and let him go into the sea. That will cost about $30,000. The vet at the zoo attached a small radio to the penguin. This will send signals to show where he goes.

Don Wilson has written a song about “Happy Feet” to help raise money for the boat. You can listen to the song on YouTube or buy the The Ballad of Happy Feet CD

1. The penguin had X-rays, an endoscopy operation and many other expensive operations. Do you think so much money should be spent on a penguin?

2. The vets at the zoo said that if the penguin gets lost in the sea, they cannot do anything to help. Why did they put a radio on the penguin?

One Comments

  1. I believe he is being used as a scientific “experiment” and this is the way to “wash their hands” and let nature take it’s course. Better to have sent him to a zoo tht could keep him as he can not be returned to the artic area. He lost his way and lost weight do they really think it is possible for this to end happily? I pray so for his sake!!! They have done a great job of caring for him I just question the end of the story! God bless Happy Feet!!! About 2000 miles is a hard hall for one so small! God give him grace! Why did the DOC insist on his return when he can not truly be returned?

Leave a Reply