Happy Feet Packing His Bags

Wellington, New Zealand:  Finally, the penguin with a terrible sense of direction and peculiar eating habits is packed and about to head home after ending up more than 2,000 miles off course in New Zealand. Nicknamed ‘Happy Feet’, the emperor penguin has became the focus of international attention since washing up on a New Zealand beach three months ago.  It was initially feared he would not survive after he ate pounds of sand, believing it was snow.  Now fit, rested and well, vets have given him the all clear to hitch a lift on a research ship back to the Antarctic. He leaves on Monday in his own specially-designed crate to keep him cold and comfortable. The penguin has also been fitted with a GPS tracking device so the public can check he does not make another wrong turn. The research vessel Tangaroa sets sail from Wellington in four days with the VIP (very important penguin) guest on board, accompanied by a zoo vet. He will be released into the ocean four days later. Dr. Rob Murdoch, from the New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, the organization operating the ship, said: “It is a fantastic coincidence that the Tangaroa’s journey takes it to 53 degrees south, which is within the natural range of juvenile emperor penguins. “They are often spotted on Campbell Island which lies at the same latitude.” As told to the Penguin Post, just before Happy Feet leaves, staff at Wellington Zoo will be holding a farewell party for him.Of course guests are being invited to wear black and white in his honor.

Happy Feet is getting a one way ticket south.

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