Wellington Zoo and the Department of Conservation are trying to raise $30,000 to return an emperor penguin to the wild.
The penguin turned up on the Kapiti coast from Antarctica six weeks ago.
A zoo spokesperson says the plan is to release 'Happy Feet' later this month off the coast of Bluff and track his progress.
Caring for Happy Feet has so far cost the zoo about $10,000.
Donations from the public have funded this and the zoo hopes the bird's return to the wild will also be funded through the public's generosity.