Penguin flies to Auckland

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WINGING IT: Bird Rescue Whakatane’s Ian Drysdale and Air Chathams loader Benny Matchitt place the injured penguin in a cage for its flight to Auckland. Photo Louis Klaassen D5027-08

BIRD Rescue Whakatane and Air Chathams joined forces this week to send an injured korora (little blue) penguin to Auckland Zoo.

Bird Rescue Whakatane member Ian Drysdale said Air Chathams customer service manager Gray Tindle was very helpful in arranging space on the airline’s Auckland flight.

Mr Tindle said Air Chathams liked helping charitable organisations in communities the company served.

“Provided it comes from a registered or proper organisation, we will always help.”

The penguin came in to Bird Rescue Whakatane’s care at the end of January after a group of fishermen found it in distress along the shore.

“A member of the public brought it in from Matata beach with lacerations to its flippers,” Mr Drysdale said.

“It was probably damaged by a small shark or barracuda, something like that.”

He said he cared for the penguin in the hope it could be released when it healed.

“It became evident that one of its flippers will never mend enough for it to be released at sea.

Fortunately, Auckland Zoo had space available at the penguin display.

“Auckland Zoo agreed to put it in the penguin exhibit when it’s well enough,” he said.

When the bird arrived at the zoo it would be quarantined for 30 days to ensure it had no diseases that could spread to the other penguins.


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