13 March 2011

Hospital patient penguins now free as birds

Yellow-eyed penguin at Penguin Place.
Photo by Andy Griffiths. Some rights reserved.
NEW ZEALAND - They've spent nearly a month as hospital patients, but now six yellow-eyed penguins are ready to be released back into the wild, Otago Daily Times reported.

After spending an initial fortnight with Department of Conservation Owaka ranger Cheryl Pullar, the underweight birds were kept at Penguin Place hospital on the Otago Peninsula until they put on enough weight to help ensure their survival in the wild. They are now four months old and weigh up to 5.5kg.

Glen Reily of Penguin Place told Otago Daily Times that some penguins were struggling to find enough food for their chicks, possibly because of the La Nina weather pattern.

It has been a busy summer for the hospital, with up to 50 injured or underweight birds staying at a time.

Read related post: DOC helps hungry hoiho

Better after hospital stay by Eileen Goodwin, 12 March 2011, Otago Daily Times


  1. Its projects like this that will help this species to survive the endless hurdles we through at them.... like taking food and habitat from them.

  2. Definitely! What Penguin Place and other penguin carers do is amazing and goes someway to making up for the all the threats - pollution, dogs, etc. - humans put into the penguins' environment. Although obviously it would be better if we hadn't put the penguins in such a bad position in the first place :(