We do at least two rounds in our colonies every week to check for penguins in trouble - and on this day we found one. It's Janet's mate who was hanging out on the beach during the day. If you look closely you see that he is brown in colour rather than blue: he had not moulted yet. We picked him up and he was less than 5kg - when he should have been 7+kg pre-moult or in fact already moulted. We tested his blood and he had Avian Malaria - so it was loads of food as well as medication for him. There is no doubt that he would not have survived without rehab.
We had to bring Ciara into rehab for a wee while during her moult and after her release spotted her with her mate near their nest site hanging out during the day. So they found each other again and appear no worse for wear from the temporary separation.
It's such a pleasure to see three adult yellow-eyed penguins running round on the beach doing their thing after such a hard season when we had to rehabilitated over a hundred penguins. They look good and happy!
We had a total of 11 white-flippered penguins in care at our rehab facility this season: that's a lot. They were really struggling, some didn't make it. They were so exhausted, but most did like this wee fella that was almost done with the moult and weighed 1.95kg (the scale reading includes the bucket!). We took him and his mate down into our penguin colony and put them in a little penguin box to complete their moult and go home to Banks Peninsula when they are ready. Good luck guys - come back if you need a top up!! Little penguins had a really, really tough summer, but things seem to settle and are looking good!