Sad Penguin! Just a Few Thousand Miles Off Course…

Eco-Travel, Travel News — By christinegarvin on July 8, 2011 at 11:10 am

Maybe he was just trying to start a new trend?

Sadly, it seems a penguin – an emperor penguin at that – veered off course from Antarctica and landed himself in New Zealand. Alone.

Not so good for the mate-for-life animal.

This wasn’t just a simple wrong turn. He came ashore nearly 4,000 miles away from his usual hang out zone. But as with most of us, the misstep was well-intentioned: experts believe he was probably searching for food like squid and krill (high in omega-3s!) and got off-track.

Which one of us hasn’t ended up going in the wrong direction when hunting for a Wendy’s or Starbucks?

Image: MShades/Flickr

Experts believe it may have taken him almost a month to get to New Zealand, since penguins only swim about 15 miles per hour. They also think he probably sat on some ice that floated him further away from his hopeful destination.

In this case, they originally planned to leave him to his own devices to get back home. When penguins landed in Brazil a few years ago, they deemed it necessary to air-lift the cute little animals back to their natural habitat.

But after four days of the little guy wandering the beach eating sand because he thought it was snow – the only source of liquid for penguins – officials moved him to a zoo for surgery. He was showing signs of lethargy and dehydration, and they found driftwood in his throat that needed to be removed.

Unfortunately, wildlife officials can’t take him back to Antarctica because winter conditions make it impossible to land. Hopefully, once he recovers, they’ll release him and he’ll find his way on his own.

Tags: Antarctica, being lost, New Zealand, Penguins, searching for food

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