Advertisement

'Feisty' Penguin Rescued After Causing Delay At New Zealand Airport

Sorry, little buddy — penguins weren’t meant to fly.

Earlier this month, a kororā, also known as a little penguin (seriously), was rescued after stumbling onto the runway at New Zealand’s Wellington International Airport.

A little penguin is seen after being rescued from a New Zealand runway.
A little penguin is seen after being rescued from a New Zealand runway.

A little penguin is seen after being rescued from a New Zealand runway.

“Found on the runway: a very unusual little visitor!” the airport wrote Tuesday on social media as it shared photos of the small, blue bird.

According to the airport, passengers and crew members “patiently waited” while the penguin was helped off the runway, where the temperature was about 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The scorching ground likely contributed to what Jack Howarth, an airport wildlife officer, described as the penguin’s “less-than-impressed mood.”

The penguin was in a
The penguin was in a

The penguin was in a "less-than-impressed mood" after being found on the scorching tarmac.

No one was sure how long the 6-week-old bird had been “exposed to the sun without shelter,” he said, so he opted to take the fledgling to the Wellington Zoo’s animal hospital.

Both the airport and the zoo have since shared updates about the kororā, with the airport noting that “he is feisty” and “has a great appetite.”

The penguin had been “hungry and a little underweight” when it arrived at the animal hospital, the zoo said. That condition was soon remedied via a “weight gain diet with LOTS of yummy fish.”

An airport employee is appropriately delighted at holding the penguin.
An airport employee is appropriately delighted at holding the penguin.

An airport employee is appropriately delighted at holding the penguin.

The penguin won’t be staying at the zoo too much longer.

“As soon as their feathers are waterproofed the Kororā will be ready for release back into the wild,” the zoo said.

As for how the flightless bird wound up on the runway in the first place, the zoo noted that penguins have nests in the nearby Lyall Bay, and “this fledgling probably got lost on the way home.”

For its part, the airport promised that it had “done some penguin proofing” to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Related...