This rare tawaki/Fiordland crested penguin was found last November, on the brink of death, lying on a beach near Haast.
Leg surgery and a course of antibiotics saw this penguin on the mend, but despite recovering well, the penguin still wasn’t fit for release due to its annual moult — during this time they can’t swim or feed.
Once it had regrown its new feathers and got a bit of swimming practice under its wing, it was flown back to the West Coast (courtesy of Air New Zealand).
Last Thursday evening Senior Biodiversity Ranger Fiona Anderson, with help from son Hugo and volunteer Charlotte, released the rehabilitated penguin on Chesterfield Beach near Hokitika.
They made this charming story about the release…
Goodbye and good health to our rare penguin visitor!
Wildbase Hospital is New Zealand’s premier wildlife hospital. Attached to Massey University’s veterinary school, they treat some of the most vulnerable wildlife on the planet. Their patients are rare and endangered native birds, reptiles and mammals from all over New Zealand. Find out more: www.massey.ac.nz/wildbase