Monday, 05 September 2011 23:36

'Happy Feet' is heading back to his teenage mates


Following yesterday's unceremonious prod down the stern slide of HMNZS Tangaroa, 'Happy Feet,' the Emperor Penguin who washed up on a New Zealand beach, is on his way south.  Interested penguin followers can follow him using every kind of technology available.  Unfortunately, he doesn't yet have a Facebook page.

A couple of months ago, a VERY wayward Emperor Penguin washed up on Peka Peka beach (about 60km north of Wellington in New Zealand).  Wayward we say, because Emperor Penguins almost never stray out of the close confines of Antarctica (that's around 3000km south of where he was found).  And judging by his level of maturity, he was definitely the equivalent of an obnoxious teenager.

Feeling somewhat overheated in the 5 - 10 degree weather, he sought what seemed closest to his preferred cooling method (ice) and proceeded to devour as much sand as he could stomach.

It seems he ate rather more than his stomach could handle and when he was found, was rather ill.

Taken into Wellington Zoo, our hapless penguin was (slowly) purged of all his unwanted sand and gradually nursed back to good health.

Now, many weeks later (and after an amazing diet of gourmet fish) our intrepid penguin was bundled onto a fisheries research vessel and transported close to Campbell Island - about 600km SSW of South Island.  Here, a specially constructed water slide eased (with a significant prod) our southern warrior back into the oceans of his ancestry.

Brrrr'¦ it's cold in here.

Since being released, a GPS tracking device has allowed anyone interested to follow his progress (don't worry, it's glued to his feathers and when he next moults, it's gone forever).

Since his encounter with the Tangaroa water slide, he spent a good deal of his first day meandering about the local area (experts assume he was checking out the local take-ways) but in the past few hours the tracking device shows he's started making significant southerly progress.

Penguin watchers (and aficionados of southern tap-dancing) may follow his progress at a specially created website.

The biggest fear of course is that Happy Feet will bring all his mates back to experience the great food he had during his stay.  Penguin Club Med, anyone? (or is that Club Penguin Med?)



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David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.



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