New Zealand Has Another Wayward Penguin

'Happy Feet Jr.' is in rough shape after long journey

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 20, 2013 4:11 PM CST

(Newser) – Another penguin has managed the amazing feat of washing up on the shore of New Zealand, reports AFP. This one has been named "Happy Feet Jr." after the original wayward penguin who captivated the nation in 2011. The juvenile royal penguin is in bad shape, unfortunately, though for good reason—vets think he traveled more than 1,200 miles from his Antarctic home over the last year, probably after getting caught in a current.

"He's in terrible condition, absolutely emaciated with his kidneys not functioning," says one. "Hopefully we can reverse that, feed him up, and bring him back to good health, but it's touch and go at the moment." If he gets strong enough, Happy Feet Jr. would be released back into the wild, but closer to home. The same happened to the original Happy Feet, though that penguin's fate remains unknown—its transmitter stopped sending signals after a few days of freedom.

A photo of the original Happy Feet penguin, taken in August of 2011.   (AP Photo/NZ Herald, Mark Mitchell, File)
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