31 July 2012

Another Fiordland penguin turns up across the ditch

AUSTRALIA - Another Fiordland penguin has made its way from New Zealand to Australian shores, this time to a beach in Denmark, Western Australia, The West Australian reported.

The young bird, estimated to be about 10 months old, was found on 15 July. Veterinarian David Edmonds told The West Australian that the penguin would have left New Zealand's South Island in November, meaning it would have been travelling for six months - over half its life! - and covered a distance of 3,500 km.

When the penguin arrived at Denmark Veterinary Clinic the poor thing could barely stand and had an eye injury. Now it can walk around and the injury has healed, but it still needs to put on some weight to get its current 1.7 kg up to around 3.5 kg.

The crested penguin, confirmed as a Fiordland by bird expert Ken Simpson, may be the first of its species to arrive in Western Australia this year, but it is actually the fifth Fiordland to arrive on the continent - two have turned up in Victoria and two in South Australia.

Once it has been rehabilitated the penguin will be released back into the wild.

Penguin washes up on WA beach by Toyah Shakespeare, The West Australian, 30 July 2012

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