29 Jun '11, 6am

Happy Feet, the Emperor penguin found in NZ, will be released into the ocean when fully fit to swim the 3,000km home.

An Antarctic penguin pauses after its treatment at Wellington Zoo in Wellington, New Zealand. -- PHOTO: AP WELLINGTON - AN EMPEROR penguin found in New Zealand will be released into the ocean when fully fit so it can swim the 3,000km home to Antarctica, wildlife experts said Wednesday. The penguin, nicknamed 'Happy Feet", was found wandering on a beach near Wellington last week and was taken to the city's zoo when it became sick after eating sand and sticks. After three rounds of surgery, including one performed by a top New Zealand surgeon, the zoo said Wednesday that its condition had stabilised and attention had turned to what would become of the unusual visitor. A specially-formed 'penguin advisory group", comprising experts from the zoo, Department of Conservation (DOC), Wellington's Massey University and the national museum Te Papa met Wednesday to decide its fate. '...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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