Wayward Emperor Penguin Returned Home

By: AP
By: AP

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- Free at last. The wayward emperor penguin dubbed "Happy Feet" is back in the ocean south of New Zealand.

The penguin was released from the research vessel Tangaroa on
Sunday morning about 50 miles north of remote Campbell Island in
water about 935 feet deep.

Wellington Zoo veterinarian Lisa Argilla said Happy Feet needed
some "gentle encouragement" to leave the purpose-built crate that
had been his home on the boat for six days. He slid down a
makeshift ramp backward and then took off.

The bird was discovered June 20 on a New Zealand beach far from
his Antarctic feeding grounds. He became sick from eating sand and
was transferred to the Wellington Zoo.

His story has captured the imagination of people around the world.

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