Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kiwi penguin lands on his feet with $63m home

And the male penguin, now known across the Tasman as "Mr Munro" has landed on his feet, being pampered with a couple of sex-starved females, a new architect-designed home, and all the fish he can eat.

Mr Munro washed up on the NSW central coast near Norah Head in November last year. He was quite underweight, had breathing and respiratory problems after a 2000km swim from the South Island.

He has since been pampered back to a healthy 4kg.

"He was wheezing and severely underweight," said Taronga Zoo's penguin keeper Jo Walker. "We've fattened him up on a diet of pilchard, whiting and squid."

And she yesterday introduced Mr Munro to the only other two Fiordland penguins in captivity – two females who have lived without a bloke for 13 years.

"Due to strict importation and quarantine rules for bird species we literally had to wait for a male to wash up on our shoreline," Ms Walker said.

"They're a bit excited," Ms Walker told the Sydney Morning Herald . "Chalky's been grooming herself a lot lately."

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