Lost Penguin Who Swam 1,500 Miles Is Released After R&R

A penguin who swam an impressive 1,553 miles (2,500 kilometers) from its home in New Zealand to Australia was released back into the wild after an extensive rest at the Melbourne Zoo.

According to a press release sent to Storyful, the Fiordland penguin was discovered in a malnourished and underweight state at Kennett River on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, having swum across the Tasman Sea. It was transported to Melbourne Zoo, where it underwent rehabilitation in July, as seen in this footage.

The bird was taken to Phillip Island Nature Parks in Victoria for the final stages of its rehabilitation and final release back into the wild. Melbourne Zoo’s head of veterinary services Dr Michael Lynch told Australia’s 7News that he was hopeful the penguin would have no trouble making the return trip to New Zealand and eventually breed.

Fiordland penguins are a crested penguin species native to New Zealand, and are classified as nationally vulnerable. Credit: Melbourne Zoo via Storyful