Happy Feet Leaves New Zealand For Home

Posted September 4th, 2011 at 12:05 am (UTC-5)
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The emperor penguin affectionately known as “Happy Feet”, has been released into the Southern Ocean some 700 kilometers south of New Zealand to begin the long swim home to Antarctica.

The penguin's 2,000 kilometer trip began Sunday as he slid down a specially designed ramp from a research ship.

He has been fitted with a transmitter that will allow zoologists and the general public to track his whereabouts.

Happy Feet spent six months at Wellington Zoo, after washing up on a New Zealand beach suffering from stomach ailments that had left him near death.

After surgery, the zoo nursed him back to health with fish milkshakes.

The three and half year old bird became an international celebrity, and there are plans for a book and documentary about him.