Penguins Rescued After Causing Delays At New Zealand Airport

Sorry, little buddy — penguins aren’t meant to fly.

Earlier this month, a kororā, also known as a little penguin (seriously), was rescued after tripping on the runway at New Zealand’s Wellington International Airport.

A little penguin is spotted after being rescued from a New Zealand runway.A little penguin is spotted after being rescued from a New Zealand runway.

Wellington International Airport

“Found on the tarmac: a very unusual little visitor!” the airport wrote Tuesday on social media as they shared a photo of the small blue bird.

According to the airport, passengers and crew “patiently waited” while the penguin was helped off the runway, where the temperature was about 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius). The hot ground likely contributed to what Jack Howarth, a wildlife officer at the airport, described as the penguins’ “less than impressed mood.”

The penguin is in a "less impressed mood" after being found on the hot asphalt.The penguin was in a “less than impressed mood” after being discovered on the sweltering tarmac.

Wellington International Airport

No one knew for sure how long the 6-week-old bird had been “exposed to sunlight without protection,” he said, so he opted to take the chick to Wellington Zoo’s veterinary hospital.

The airport and zoo have shared updated information about the kororā, with the airport noting that “he is feisty” and “has a big appetite.”

The penguin was “hungry and slightly underweight” when he arrived at the animal hospital, the zoo said. This condition was immediately addressed through a “weight gain diet with LOTS of delicious fish”.

An airport employee was very happy to hold the penguin.An airport employee was very happy to hold the penguin.

Wellington International Airport

Penguins won’t stay in the zoo for too long.

“As soon as their feathers are waterproof, Kororā will be ready to be released back into the wild,” the zoo said.

As for how the flightless bird ended up on the runway, the zoo noted that the penguins have a nest near Lyall Bay, and “the penguin chick probably got lost on its way home.”

The airport promised to have “carried out penguin checks” to prevent similar incidents in the future.

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