The Straits Times
Published on Feb 22, 2013

Sad end for Happy Feet Jr in New Zealand


WELLINGTON (AFP) - A penguin dubbed Happy Feet junior that washed up in New Zealand 2,000km from his home has died despite intensive efforts to save him, Wellington Zoo said on Friday.

A veterinary team spent five days caring for the bird, a juvenile royal penguin which had drifted far from a breeding colony in sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island after spending an estimated 12 months at sea.

But the zoo's chief vet Lisa Argilla said the penguin died overnight as malnutrition and kidney failure took their toll.

"As the penguin arrived nearly 3kg underweight, it had absolutely no reserves and subsequently we suspect that this led to multiple organ failure, following the kidney failure diagnosed on its arrival," she said.