As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Freedom for Miss Simpson, the penguin found 2,000km from home


A Snares penguin from islands south of New Zealand is found wounded on a Tasmanian beach. Nine months’ nursing later, she tastes the open sea again

by Grace Heathcote

Sunday 3 September 2017 19.00 BSTLast modified on Sunday 3 September 2017 23.48 BST

Just before dawn on a still morning in autumn a crowd of people gathers on a beach in southern Tasmania. They watch in tense silence as a small animal shuffles across the sand. This animal, a penguin, has been the focus of nine months of care, liaison and cooperation to get to this moment – she is being released and sent back out into her world. I am privileged to be included in the farewell crew, and share the jubilation and anxiety of the people around me, all of us hoping that she will remember her path home.

So far from home
In July 2014, bushwalkers at Cockle Creek, in the far south of Tasmania, witnessed a penguin being attacked by a dog. A parks and wildlife ranger investigated and found the penguin wandering the shoreline, carrying serious wounds on its back, chest and foot. With bright yellow “eyebrows”, this was not one of the little penguins common to the state but a Snares penguin, usually found on a group of islands 200km south of New Zealand – and more than 2,000km away from Tasmania.

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