At Katiki Point, we run a hospital especially for sick and injured Penguins. Aptly called the Katiki Point Penguin Hospital, we cater for all penguins and run and intensive rehabilitation programme to help these penguins get back on their feet.
The hospital has been running for well over twenty years and is one of the main reasons for the success of the colony. Diesel Dick and Sweet Pea were the first two hospital penguins that stayed on to breed well over twenty years ago. Many of the penguins you see at the point are their offspring!
The philosophy of the hospital is that if penguins that are in a critical state are given a chance to recover, then this increases the chances of the penguin going onto breed and thus increasing the overall penguin population. This is essential for a penguin population such as the yellow eyed penguin, which is critically endangered.
February and March are the most busy times of the year for the penguin hospital. We have a number of penguins that go into the moult that struggle to maintain their body weight and thus become critically ill.
The usual procedure is to take a diagnosis of the penguin; weight is the critical factor. The average healthy weight of a Yellow Eyed Penguin is 6kgs. A Yellow Eyed that weighs under this is a cause for concern.
The penguin will then be brought up to hospital and then will undertake a treatment plan to get it back to full health, including innoculation against parasites, then the gradual building up of its weight through daily feeding of salmon smelt.
Once the penguin has returned to full health, we take the penguin back down to the colony for release.