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Lost Happy Feet Penguin Gains July Pool Swim at New Zealand Zoo

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by hearit

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In The News

New Zealand's 'Happy Feet' got his first swim July 25, a month after the stranded baby Emperor Penguin turned up beachside. After repeated surgeries from ingested sand, the stranded animal has been on ice. Video shows temps finally cooled enough for 'Happy Feet's' first swim at Wellington Zoo pool.
First he was lost, then found. But the stray, baby Emperor Penguin's 'finders weren't' up for the responsibility. New Zealand still has no plans to ship home the Emperor Penguin stranded on its beach. Still the country is stuck with the rare animal found thousands of miles from home.
After any lack of care by New Zealand, other than fending off dogs from the baby penguin's locale, the Emperor Penguin -- quickly nicknamed 'Happy Feet' by locals -- was forced to undergo multiple surgeries to remove at least 7 lbs of ingested sand. Experts think the 'Happy Feet' penguin thought sand was ice and ate it which put the baby in critical condition, with fears the penguin might die from the volume ingested. Since that sand intake, his care's been upped.
Perhaps New Zealand is afraid of a bigger bill through medical care than keeping him on ice in the interim -- until his volunteered hitch home next year.
The penguin's been chilling out, on ice, at the Wellington Zoo. Still with no way home for now -- until the future possibility of a tagalong on a Russian icebreaker boat next year, offered up by millionaire philanthropist Gareth Morgan who said he'd give 'Happy Feet' a hitch back to the Antarctica -- Wellington Zoo officials attempt to keep the growing baby cool. His July 25 swim got cut a little short due to warming New Zealand temperatures. But swimming is better than eating sand, any day.


New Zealand
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