This chick is our last to leave us. Today (in real time) we have opened the soft-release pen door for him to go to learn fishing like the others. He is a miracle penguin. His mother is a two year old and laid only one small egg, three weeks after the others had laid theirs and he hatched on 7th December.
At two days old he contracted Avian Diphtheria and survived. When we uplifted the other chicks, he was too young to come into kindergarten so we left him there and he eluded predation.
He did not avoid Malaria and so he was treated successfully when he came into rehab on 18th January.
Even though he was smaller and younger, he held his own with the other chicks until they all left and he has spent the last few weeks with juveniles and adults for company. He tested clear of Malaria now and we all wish him well.
This is our last post on sponsored chicks before they were released. So far we have not had any return - hopefully that is a good sign but we usually get some of our chicks back into rehab through the winter. If any of them were sponsored, they will of course feature here.
For now a huge THANK YOU to all our wonderful sponsors. Your interest and support is invaluable for us and allows us to do what we do to prevent the extinction of this species on South Island New Zealand. You are helping - you are amazing!