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July 2011

31 July 2011
$30k to get Happy Feet back home
(New Zealand)
It will cost an estimated NZ$30,000 to return Happy Feet the emperor penguin to the wild, Wellington Zoo says. The zoo and Department of Conservation are looking at returning him to the wild in mid to late August. His homeward journey would likely involve transporting him from Wellington to Bluff, either by air or in a refrigerated truck, then taking him on a fishing boat to a point past Stewart Island, where he would be released to start his 3000km swim home.
Read NZ Herald article

28 July 2011
Return trip beckons for heavier Happy Feet
(New Zealand)
The world-famous penguin Happy Feet might soon be on his way home. The juvenile emperor penguin won global fame when he turned up on Peka Peka beach, north of Wellington, last month. He has since had various procedures to remove sand, sticks and rocks from his stomach.He has had a check up today, and the results of an x-ray will be available tonight or tomorrow. Wellington Zoo spokeswoman Kate Baker said Happy Feet had put on four kilograms since he arrived at the zoo and was looking well. "He now weighs 26 kilos. When he first arrived you could feel all the bones in his body but he is now putting on weight and looking good."
Read Dominion Post article at

27 July 2011
Project aims to coax Granite Island penguins back
Volunteers are putting nesting boxes and more native plants on Granite Island at Victor Harbor, South Australia, in efforts to help stop a decline in little penguin numbers. There were more than 2,000 penguins a decade ago, but just 146 counted last year.
Read ABC News article

13 July 2011
Penguins take to the air
Leaping clear of the water, for even a brief instant, is a vital strategy penguins employ to avoid being eating by predators such as leopard seals or orcas. Now scientists have worked out the secret technique that penguins use to get airborne - wrapping their bodies in a cloak of air bubbles.The discovery was made by scientists examining in minute detail footage shot for the BBC programme Blue Planet and was published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.
Read BBC Wonder Monkey blog

6 July 2011
Hand-reared penguin plots historic course
(South Africa)
The first ever juvenile African penguin to be fitted with a satellite transmitter was released by SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) on 26 June 2011 The deployment was made by scientists from the Oceans and Coasts Branch of the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town, on a chick hand-reared by SANCCOB. The deployment is one of five planned over the coming months and forms part of a collaborative project under the auspices of the Chick Bolstering Project. It is designed to investigate the behaviour of juvenile birds and the pressures that they face during early life, with a goal to using chicks abandoned by their parents and hand-reared to create new colonies close to areas of high prey abundance. The transmitters are expected to relay their position for about six months and regular updates will be posted on Penguin Watch.
Read SANCCOB article


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