Royal penguin found on beach dies

Last updated 09:58 22/02/2013
The sick royal penguin at  Wellington Zoo
MAARTEN HOLL/Fairfax NZ
RARE FIND: The sick royal penguin – more than 2000km from home – at Wellington Zoo.

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The royal penguin found critically unwell on the Wairarapa coast has died overnight.

The juvenile penguin, who was found at Tora on the southern Wairarapa coastline on Sunday had been cared for at The Nest at Wellington Zoo since Monday afternoon.

He was suffering from malnutrition, dehydration and kidney failure after coming ashore to moult while severely underweight.

Veterinary Science manager Lisa Argilla said the zoo did everything they could to give him the best chance of survival.

“As the penguin arrived nearly 3kg underweight it had absolutely no reserves, and subsequently we suspect that this lead to multiple organ failure, following the kidney failure diagnosed on its arrival,” she said.

Royal Penguins are normally found on Macquarie Island, more than 2,000 kilometers south of where the penguin was found on Sunday, and this was only the fourth confirmed sighting of this species on the North Island of New Zealand.

A emperor penguin, widely known as Happy Feet, was found on a Kapiti Coast beach north of Wellington in June, 2011.

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- The Dominion Post

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