Pingu was spotted at Birdlings Flat this week. A small settlement on the south-eastern coastline of New Zealand’s South Island.
Local resident Harry Signh found Pingu at the clearing. “First I thought it was a soft toy, suddenly the penguin moved his head, so I realized it was real,” he said. After watching Pingu for a while, Signh decided to take the penguin to the Department of Conservation (DoC).
Adélie penguins very rarely make it to New Zealand. In fact. Pingu is the third known Adélie to have successfully made the journey from Antarctic to New Zealand. Researchers say if Adélie spotings become more common, it could be a signal of a change in the ocean.
After being treated for dehydration, DoC released the bird back into the wild at Magnet Bay at southern Banks Peninsula.