27 Aug 2011

Emperor penguin prepares to head south

7:57 am on 27 August 2011

Wellington is getting ready to farewell the wayward emperor penguin that washed up on a Kapiti Coast beach in June.

The bird, nicknamed Happy Feet, underwent a series of operations to pump sand and sticks from its stomach and restore its health.

Well-wishers have been asked to don black and white to say their last goodbyes at Wellington Zoo at 11am on Sunday.

Happy Feet will be anaesthetised and fitted with a GPS tracker for his journey back to the sub-Antarctic region aboard a NIWA research vessel on Monday.

He'll be released at the northernmost range for young emperor penguins.