This is the proposed name for our homing pigeon of a penguin. Wow what a trip around half of Banks Peninsula at least 70 nautical miles swimming from Harris Bay, Taylors mistake, to Flea Bay in Five days of not just straight swimming, but foraging, or at least trying to unsuccessfully judging by his condition. He was very thin to the extent all his muscle is gone.
Walking down our drive I was astonished to be greeted by a very skinny but enthusiastic gleefully yapping penguin and recognised him immediately. Running into my hands his little flippers outstretched I felt a sense of elation he found me before his energy failed him. He would not have had more than another 24 hours before his system began to shut down from severe malnutrition. He found me again just in time.
We had taken the little guy in as a starving chick and raised him to fledging, then released him in good condition to begin his life at sea. He was released at a time all the penguins were struggling so it was not surprising he returned a couple of days later skinny and hungry. We tried 5 times getting his condition back up and releasing him and each time was the same, he came back to us thin and hungry.
He must have been trying hard. His huge weight loss each time suggested he was putting in the foraging effort, but obviously having no success returned in desperation in the same skinny state.
As he seemed to not have what it takes to survive at sea we sent him to Christchurch to have him assessed for the penguin attraction there, but unknown to us it was decided by the vet he was a good viable penguin that stood a good chance of surviving at sea, so he was released yet again at the Harris Bay colony on the other side of Banks Peninsula a long way from home.
I had no idea he had been released until I saw him running towards me. I think this time his fate is sealed. He will be going back to Christchurch by road straight into the Little Penguin attraction.
We have a permit to Rehab Penguins and get them back into the wild but not to keep pet Penguins.