subantarctic erect-crested penguin carried off course on to a
Northland beach is now recuperating at Moeraki's Katiki Point
It was flown to Dunedin by Air New Zealand on Monday and
transported to Moeraki, where it will spend the next few
weeks being fattened up before it is released.
''It's very, very thin; emaciated, I'd say,'' Katiki Point
Penguin Charitable Trust manager Rosalie Goldsworthy said.
The 2-year-old penguin, which comes from the subantarctic
islands, has spent the past three weeks at the Whangarei
Native Bird Recovery Centre after being found on the shore at
It had now finished moulting but needed to increase its body
weight if it was going to survive at sea, so was being fed by
Mrs Goldsworthy along with the other penguins in the trust's
got to a good weight, the bird would be released to the sea
to go home.
''It's halfway home.''
She was looking after about 50 penguins, mostly yellow-eyeds,
but also two Snares crested penguins and a white flippered
Like Otago Peninsula's penguin hospital at Penguin Place, the
trust was having one of its busiest years.
The penguins needing care were mostly young birds with
injuries and low weight. An average of two were arriving each
day, Mrs Goldsworthy said.
''This is the worst season in the last 12 years and it'll be
bad until the end of April.''
Some of the birds that had gone to sea were returning hungry.
She asked people who saw penguins on beaches during the day
to call the Department of Conservation.
''If they were healthy, they would be out fishing during the
It cost about $1000 a week to feed the birds in the hospital
and the trust was bearing up thanks to the generosity of
many, she said.