News & Politics

Ailing Penguin Stuck in New Zealand Offered Ride Home Or Spot At SeaWorld

by

Happy Feet, a young emperor penguin, is stranded in New Zealand. It (scientists haven’t determined if the bird is male or female) arrived there last Monday, its appearance being the first time in 44 years that an emperor penguin has been spotted in New Zealand. All is not well. Happy Feet fell ill because it kept eating sand, mistaking it for the snow of its native Antarctica. It was transported in a tub of ice to the Wellington Zoo and has undergone two procedures already to flush the sand out from its digestive system, but it’s still not in the clear. If it gets well, a New Zealand businessman has offered a lift back to Antarctica.

Happy Feet is still on an I.V. drip and will undergo another procedure on Monday, poor thing. Investment adviser Gareth Morgan has offered Happy Feet a ride home to Antarctica aboard a Russian icebreaker, but it won’t be for another eight months. Morgan said, “”A sea passage is far more akin to the animal’s natural rite of passage across the Southern Ocean than any trip in a Globelifter jet might be, with no risk of deep vein thrombosis.” The AP adds that this was said “jokingly” but it actually seems quite sensible!

But is it really a good idea to bring Happy Feet back home, where it might not even be able to find its brethren? It already has an offer from SeaWorld in San Diego. And that doesn’t sound bad at all. Fingers crossed for Happy Feet, the bravest sand-eating emperor penguin we know.

[AP]

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]