Don't jump on a plane just yet! The penguin was moved because of the risk of
dog attack. According to the article below, 1/2 an hour after being released
at a safe site near Hobart it swam out to sea.
Giant penguin wanders in from the cold
By ANNE MATHER
IT is not every day a sub-Antarctic penguin standing almost a metre high
takes a wrong turn and comes ashore near Hobart.
But this gentoo penguin waddled ashore at Conningham at the weekend -- a
long, long way from home.
Gentoo penguins breed on sub-Antarctic islands and on the Antarctic
Peninsula. Their closest breeding ground to Tasmanian is 1500km away on
A walker on the Conningham foreshore on Sunday spotted the penguin, which is
about 80 to 90cm high, and contacted wildlife authorities. Marine biologist
Rosemary Gales said it was a rare visitor.
"These really are rare in our waters -- we've seen only two [in Tasmania]
over the last few decades," said Dr Gales, from the Biodiversity
Conservation Branch of the Department of Primary Industries and Water.
She said the stretch of foreshore where the penguin was spotted was popular
among dog walkers, so a wildlife team took the penguin from Conningham and
released it at a safer spot south of Hobart.
The penguin, which was in good health and condition, was released on Monday.
"It preened on the beach for half-an-hour and then went back to sea," Dr
It was hoped the bird would safely make its way back south, she said.
"Ideally, we just leave them well alone, but in this case we needed to take
it to a safer location because it was in danger of being impacted by people
The bird's age was unclear, although it was thought to be a young bird which
was roaming the southern seas.
"When they are young, they spend several years at sea before coming back to
land," Dr Gale said.
"But this one has ventured a bit further north than is typical."
Gentoo penguins are the least abundant of the penguins found on the
sub-Antarctic islands, with a total breeding population of about 314,000
There are about 5000 breeding pairs on Macquarie Island.
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