Tracking Happy Feet Home

Happy Feet the wayward emperor penguin will take a piece of New Zealand with him when he travels home to Antarctica, and we’re not talking New Zealand beach sand or twigs.  The Penguin Post has learned that a New Zealand firm is producing and donating the tracking device that will record the penguin’s journey when he’s released.  Since Happy Feet went ill after swimming up onto a beach on New Zealand’s Kapiti Coast and began mistaking sand for a snow snack last month he’s been in the care for of the Wellington Zoo.   Sirtrack CEO Mike Kelly said the company offered to make a tracking device for the penguin because it was an unusual case and a way to help. “It’s really interesting. It’s not often you get to track an emperor penguin off our coast,” Mr Kelly said. “It’s a good way to demonstrate how our units work.” The company had previously made a tracker for Tarly the loggerhead turtle, which was found injured in Northland, NZ.  The turtle made it all the way to Chile before the tracker stopped working.

The device is not meant to be permanent, as it will fall off when Happy Feet moulted. “It’s taken several years to develop this type tracker and it’s now deployed all around the world,” Mr Kelly said. The company had offices in the US and distributors in Africa. They regularly worked with more than 70 countries supplying wildlife tracking devices for every kind of animal, from birds and reptiles to lions, tigers and bears. A wildlife expert would attach the device to the penguin, with guidance from Sirtrack, when Happy Feet is finally well enough to make the trip south, Mr Kelly said.  “Happy Feet has to meet all his health checks and that decision will rest with the experts at Wellington Zoo.”

Happy Feet will get a tracking device for his trip home.


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2 Responses to “Tracking Happy Feet Home”

  1. Carmen Rosa Says:

    Could they left him closer to home? It was cruel to let him got alone and find his way, he was lost before.

  2. karlwillis Says:

    go happy feet good luck

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