The adventure of a little blue penguin in a New Zealand airport

Unusual visitor spotted on the tarmac of a New Zealand airport. A blue penguin was reported to staff and wildlife officials. The little guy, a native species of the country, was rescued and rehabilitated

Did a small blue penguin dream of flying when it wandered onto the runway at one of New Zealand’s major airports? Known locally as the kororā, this tiny bird was spotted just in time by a pilot.

It was a close call for the little penguin at the Wellington International Airport earlier this year. Luckily, a pilot from Air Chathams, preparing for takeoff, noticed the tiny penguin and alerted the ground crew.

The staff sprang into action to secure the bird, while the pilot and passengers patiently waited for the successful completion of the rescue.

Airports are hardly the natural habitat for a blue penguin. This species is rarely seen on land as it spends its days at sea until the breeding and nesting period from May to June.

The little “Happy Feet” must have gotten lost and ended up at the airport. The wildlife center at the New Zealand airport picked him up and wrapped him in a blanket. The operators reported that the blue penguin appeared quite agitated.

“Our sensors on the runway at that time were recording 50 degrees, so it’s no wonder that our little visitor was not particularly happy,” wrote the airport staff.

The animal was temporarily transferred to The Nest clinic at Wellington Zoo, where it was examined by veterinarians. It was about 6 weeks old, hungry, and slightly underweight.

The veterinarians nourished it, feeding it a rich diet based on fish and then reintroduced it to the wild after a few weeks. The blue penguin was kept under observation until it changed its juvenile plumage and its coat became waterproof.

Meanwhile, the airport has fortified the fences around its perimeter, making them “penguin-proof”. No penguin had ever made a stop at Wellington Airport before, but there’s always a first time. All’s well that ends well.

Source: Wellington International Airport/Facebook

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