Scientists Lose Track of 'Happy Feet' Penguin

Transmitter probably fell off, trackers hope

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 13, 2011 3:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – The story of "Happy Feet," the wayward emperor penguin that turned up in New Zealand, has captivated the world, but we may never know how it ends. The young penguin was returned to the wild last week and a transmitter that was attached to him has stopped relaying information to scientists, reports the BBC. He may have been eaten. But the penguin-trackers believe it's much more likely that the transmitter simply fell off.

"Tag loss is quite common in wildlife studies," a spokesman for animal-tracking company Sirtrack tells the Herald Sun. Before he fell off the radar, Happy Feet had been behaving exactly as a penguin preparing for a long journey should. Scientists believe that since he has been fitted with a microchip, he may be heard from again if he pops up at a penguin colony where a researcher is present.

The wayward emperor penguin, found on a New Zealand beach in June and known to the world as Happy Feet, checks out his enclosure aboard the research vessel Tangaroa.
The wayward emperor penguin, found on a New Zealand beach in June and known to the world as Happy Feet, checks out his enclosure aboard the research vessel Tangaroa.   (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Mark Mitchell)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
Check out another Intriguing story: Stagecoach Passenger Is Oldest Active Missing-Person...
2%
Annoying
16%
Hilarious
47%
Intriguing
28%
Depressing
7%
Brilliant
2%
Scary
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   BuzzFeed   |   Cracked   |   World History Project   |   POPSUGAR Tech   |   Business Insider   |   HuffPost Entertainment