Penguins get new home


Denmark's two penguin visitors were released into the wild last Thursday after a surfboard ride to an island off Walpole.

Picture by Laurie Benson: Denmark Veterinary Clinic nurse Rosie Chrimes with the northern rockhopper penguins.

The northern rockhopper penguins arrived on Parry and Ocean Beaches early last week and were looked after by Denmark Veterinary Clinic.

Clinic vet nurse Meg Jagger said the penguin’s relocation entourage included a member of Denmark Sea Rescue, vet nurse Rosie Chrimes and a Department of Environment and Conservation representative.

“Vet Sarah Davison swam to the island with the penguins in a dog travelling cage strapped to a surfboard,” Ms Jagger said.

“They were ready to go, when we put them down it was like they were telling us to go away.”

Ms Jagger said the rockhoppers were left in a sheltered area and the DEC set up a monitoring system on the island to keep an eye on their movements.

“There’s always a risk of seals and ospreys (attacking), but the penguins are big and fat so an osprey would have trouble,” she said.

“We were happy with their release and hope they come to be mums and dads.”

The one-year-old penguins had swum 3500km from Amsterdam and St Paul’s islands and came ashore to moult their feathers.