Happy Feet Back to Eating Fish

The Penguin Post has learned that recent celebrity penguin Happy Feet has ditched his demanding sand and twig diet in favor of Marlborough cuisine. That’s because New Zealand King Salmon has donated about 250 lbs of salmon smolt (juvenile fish) to Wellington Zoo to help restore the young Antarctic visitor to health. Happy Feet is eating up to 5 lbs of the fish a day. New Zealand King Salmon marketing manager Stephen Gibson said the company supplied Wellington Zoo with the salmon smolt when it was available and had doubled the contribution for the Antarctic interloper.  The wayward emperor penguin sparked international interest when he arrived at Peka Peka Beach, over 2000 miles from Antarctica, three weeks ago.  Unfortunately he mistakenly ate sand, mistaking it for ice, to cool down as well as twigs and rocks.  He has since had surgery at Wellington Zoo to remove the sand.  The penguin was back on the table on Saturday for his fourth procedure to flush more sand from his stomach. Veterinary science manager Lisa Argilla said undergoing general anaesthetics was unlikely to be tiring or stressful for Happy Feet, but he did need a rest between procedures. A specially formed Penguin Advisory Committee has decided the best option would be to release him in the sub-Antarctic waters of the Southern Ocean. However, Dr Argilla warned that even doing this would have its risks and Happy Feet would need to be taken some distance from land. “He’s a bit of a sand eater.” It was likely he would remain at the zoo for a month.

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