Our veterinary team have been caring for two penguin patients from the wild. Found on a beach in May, these little penguins / kororā (an adult and a juvenile) were taken to a local wildlife rescuer who brought them to our Vet Hospital a few weeks ago to assess if they were fit to be released.

Veterinary services manager James and vet nurse Amy washed their bodies thoroughly with a special liquid to remove accumulated fish oil from their coats. Once removed, these penguins can begin the process of ‘water-proofing’ themselves. By preening their feathers and coating them with an oil produced by their preen gland, penguins can essentially keep warm in freezing waters. At our Vet Hospital, they also have access to a deep salt-water pool for swimming in.

All this mahi is to enable these penguins can swim as they should when they return to the wild. Just yesterday they were taken by our carnivore keeper Lauren, an essential worker and resident on Waiheke Island, to Native Bird Rescue so they can get used to swimming again in a safe area before release.

Though our zoo is currently closed to our wonderful visitors, our skilled and essential zoo veterinary team are working hard to care for our zoo whānau, in addition to patients from the wild.


Little penguins go for a swim!

As part of their recovery, two little penguin patients go for a swim at our Vet Hospital