PENGUIN RESCUE NZ
Te whaka oraka o te takaraka
From the Sanctuary Manager, Rosalie Goldsworthy MNZM
Sunday 2nd April 2023
Hello friends and family
This week has been much like last week. We are finding needy penguins often. Robbie came out on Sunday and we picked up 3 more. On Tuesday we were joined by Puawai, from Kai Tahu and Richard and Hendrick from the Dunedin DOC office. They did the rounds with us and helped carry the 6 penguins that we rescued up the hill to safety.
At lunchtime we got the eagerly awaited call – our fish was on its way. We were down to less than a week’s supply and NZ King Salmon has no more smolt for us. It was United Fisheries in Christchurch to the rescue once again and we packed 200kg into the freezer that will last a couple of weeks.
This fish is pilchards/sardines from the Atlantic ocean. They are easy feeding fish of a useful size. We have probably taken them from the mouths of other penguins but the need here is dire.
I went to town on Wednesday to buy a grinder so we can cut circles for trees more easily. It rained most of the day and got very cold. This made for a cold start first thing on Thursday. We quickly warmed up. Just down the hill in pebble bay was an injured penguin. It was Mr 5 who had made it through the moult unaided, but he was only 5 kgs with a nasty wound to his leg. Barb took him down to the Wildlife hospital. Around the corner was Mr 20, home to moult and underweight. He came in.
After morning tea we took 4 penguins to the Moeraki colony to release. We let them out by the gate then started the rounds. Halfway round, on the side of a scrubby, muddy bank was Mr 121 – welcome home! He needed a helping hand too! By the time we got to the lookout, the 4 released penguins were making their way into the roaring seas. What a treat to see them head out, full of purpose and ready to be free.
5 minutes later, we heard a penguin call at Kevin’s bush. It was Mrs 185, just released – she swam home faster than we walked it. She also greeted the moulting neighbour with great enthusiasm.
Friday was another chance to advocate for the penguins as it was the Hui for the Katiki Historic reserve. It started with a walk around the reserve and I got the opportunity to point out the out of control Poroporo. I read my update that explained how dire the situation is for the penguins. In the afternoon, I completed a funding application and Jan came out to help with the afternoon feeding. It is so good to have her help with this.
Yesterday Hiltrun and I brought in 3 more underweight breeders which takes the number of unseen breeders to around 20. She also saw the falcon back in the reserve.
Have a great week!