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Happy Feet: the lost Emperor Penguin: live feed

When the lost Emperor Penguin waddled ashore at Peka Peka beach north of Wellington, NZ, he had little idea it would cause world attention.


"Happy Feet" started to eat sand, thinking it a good substitute for snow, to cool down. Big tummy ache. Operation performed by Wellington's top gastroenterologist.


Here's a live link to Happy Feet, continuing to recover after surgery, at Wellington zoo.

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Tags: Emperor, Penguin, feet, happy, lost

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Comment by Clive Carter on August 8, 2011 at 11:04

HF is said to be only the second recorded incident of an Emperor Penguin reaching NZ.

HF's striding ashore, like an explorer, may not impress those for whom penguins "washed up" on the beach is a daily or weekly occurrence. For others (Google currently shows more than four million results) it seems to be of interest.

The name Happy Feet was inspired nickname, doubtless coming from the film of the same name.


Comment by Clive Carter on August 8, 2011 at 10:45

I don't know that the alleged frequency of this occurrence is a "lie" although I cannot speak for other countries. I'm not aware of anyone claiming that this never happens. "Lie" suggests knowingly telling an untruth, and I doubt that's so here; I'm prepared to believe this is rare, simply because of the distance from the Antarctic and a climate far less cold.

In NZ, where I am from, it was reported that the last time an Emperor penguin from Antartica, came ashore was in the 1940s (1947?). Of course it is possible that penguins from Antacrtica have come ashore since the 1940s, but just haven't been noticed.

I know Peka Peka beach (a few km north of Waikanae Beach) and it was highly likely that HF would be seen by humans within hours or even minutes of coming ashore after that enormous swim.

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