Happy Feet Makes A Friend

It seems that Penguin Place and world can’t get enough of Happy Feet, and now neither can he. While staff prepare for the emperor penguin’s trip back to the subantarctic, Happy Feet has been given a new toy to play with. A new mirror was placed in his enclosure for mental stimulation and it seems the penguin is quite taken with himself. Wellington Zoo spokeswoman Kate Baker said the mirror provided stimulation to Happy Feet now that he was well and active. “He seems to be very interested in the ‘other’ penguin,” Ms Baker said. Meanwhile, the zoo is gearing up for Happy Feet’s departure on August 29 when he will be released at 53 degrees south, the northern-most end of waters juvenile emperor penguins are known to inhabit. Construction is under way on a special travel enclosure for the penguin to travel in when he sets sail. He will board a Niwa research vessel but will travel in a custom-made container to ensure he is kept safe and cool. Staff are constructing his travel container from the same material used to build containers for holding fish in fishing vessels. It would be made large enough for him to stand up in, lift his beak up in, and turn around in. However, his watchers on board would be able to decrease its size if conditions got rough. Ms Baker said staff would miss him once he was gone. “We’re going to miss him but the best thing for us is being able to release animals back to the wild.”

Happy Feet, meet Happy Feet

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