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Image No. Penguin-1

Emperor Penguin at Peka Peka Beach, Kapiti Coast, New Zealand.

This penguin swam about 4000 kilometres from Antarctica and it's only the second time an emperor penguin has been known to visit a New Zealand beach. The penguin's rare visit attracted global interest and large numbers of bird lovers came to see it. The penguin was first seen on the beach on Monday 20 June 2011 by Peka Peka resident Chris Wilton, who named the bird "Happy Feet".

However, on 24 June 2011 at midday, this 27kg juvenile penguin was shifted to Wellington Zoo for treatment for dehydration and heat exhaustion. In the absence of snow, the penguin had eaten a lot of sand, which may have been to try and cool itself. The penguin had a successful four-hour operation to clear sand blocking his oesophagus, but sand in his stomach was a major problem. Click  here  to read a report about the surgery carried out on the penguin, and  here  and  here  to see how well he has recovered.

The above photograph was taken just one hour before the penguin was shifted to the zoo. He was quite lethargic so we weren't able to see him on his feet. Here is another picture of the penguin:

Emperor Penguin at Peka Peka Beach, New Zealand.

These images were taken at a distance of approximately 50 metres from the penguin because the public was kept at a distance so as not to stress the penguin.

To obtain the best appreciation of the quality of the images on this site, they should be displayed at a relatively small size, because most images have been reduced in size to a maximum width of only 870 pixels. In addition, the images have been saved at a low quality setting.