Nov. 15 (News) – A penguin that appeared to land approximately 1,800 miles from its intended course became the third member of its kind in history to be found on a New Zealand beach.
Harry Singh posted videos on Facebook when he encountered an Adelie penguin walking on a beach in the Christchurch area.
Kaikoura Wildlife Hospital said the young penguin, native to Antarctica, was tired and reluctant to return to the sea when found about 1,800 miles from home.
“The penguin is now being cared for at Christchurch Penguin Rehabilitation, which is run by Thomas and Kristina Stracke in collaboration with the South Island Wildlife Hospital,” said Kaikoura Wildlife Hospital in a Facebook post.
The New Zealand Ministry of Conservation said the penguin has had a health check-up and has been released in the Banks Peninsula area in hopes of finding its way home.
David Ainley, ecologist and expert on Adelie penguins, said members of the species are known to travel widely outside of their breeding season, but it was unusual for any of the birds to show up in New Zealand.
“Most likely there are some more who are moving away from the sea ice that surrounds Antarctica but not getting anywhere near civilization,” Ainely told USA Today.
The New Zealand Department of Conservation said the visitor, called pingu by locals, is only the third Adelei penguin known to have visited New Zealand.