Freedom For Little Blues
Forty-nine little blue penguins rescued from the Rena oil spill that occurred in October off the coast of Tauranga have been returned to the wild at Mt Maunganui beach. Most of them immediately ran toward the water, while a few lingered on the shore. The oil spill killed more than 2000 birds, and the penguins released were some of the more than 300 blue penguins affected by the disaster. Napier wool store Skeinz was inundated with blue penguin-sized sweaters after mentioning that rescuers needed the knits to keep the injured birds warm. “It’s wonderful to see the first penguins all cleaned up and heading home,” the store wrote on its blog. The release was watched by 350 people. The birds have been micro-chipped and will be monitored to see whether the spill affects their long-term health.