10 March 2011

A novel experience for first-time penguin carer

NEW ZEALAND - Not many of us can say we've taken home a penguin, but now Animal Care veterninary nurse Kirsty Brewer is one of the lucky few who can. On the flip(per) side, Wallace, the little penguin in question, is one of a relatively small number of penguins who has been inside a human's house.

According to Hawke's Bay Today, Wallace - underweight, anaemic and dehydrated - was brought to Animal Care in early February by a group of young girls who found him on Ocean Beach .

Mrs Brewer has worked at the Havelock North veterinary centre for 10 years, but this is her first time caring for a penguin. The pampered Wallace goes home with her so he can be fed regularly and he has almost doubled his body weight. Following advice from penguin experts at Massey University and the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch, his diet is mostly salmon.

Animal Care is hoping Wallace will recover fully so that he can be released back into the wild. Otherwise, there may be a home of him at Auckland Zoo.

Haven from out of the blue by Caitlin Nobes, 19 February 2011, Hawke's Bay Today

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