Emperor Penguin Ends Up on New Zealand Beach
Penguin Took a Wrong Turn
A woman walking her dog on Peka Peka Beach in New Zealand met an unexpected stranger: an emperor penguin. Christine Wilson though she was imagining the whole thing, but the penguin is all too real. She named the young penguin "Happy Face". Some are calling him Peka. Peka the Penguin.
Emperor penguins do not normally live in New Zealand: Happy Face is 2,000 miles off course. Penguins are known to be great distance swimmers, but that is a long journey for a 10-month-old. The penguin is also eating wet sand, apparently unaware (for now) that it won't melt.
Now the New Zealand Dept. of Conservation is trying to keep people and their pets away from the penguin, at least until he figures out how to get back to Antarctica. While the crew and staff at Scott Base hail from New Zealand, it's unclear if their planes have ever been used for penguin transport.
The image of the emperor penguin, native to Antarctica, standing in front of a sand dune reminds me of the album cover for Animal Logic's Animal Logic II. We are all aware, though, that polar bears live on the opposite end of the planet to penguins.
The largest penguin species, emperor penguins can grow up to four feet tall, weighing in at nearly 100 lbs.
Oh, and before you ask... yes, penguins have knees.