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Wellington Zoo farewells Happy Feet

Wellington Zoo farewells Happy Feet

Yesterday the emperor penguin known as Happy Feet left Wellington Zoo to begin his journey home, onboard the NIWA research vessel Tangaroa.

“We are hugely grateful for the enormous outpouring of support and care we have received from around New Zealand and around the world” said Wellington Zoo Chief Executive Karen Fifield.

“We have calculated that the extra cost of caring for Happy Feet, over and above our everyday operating costs for The Nest – Te Kohanga, has been just under $30,000. We are very happy that the entire extra cost has been covered by public donations and the support of Bluebird Foods and Gareth Morgan.”

“As we are a charitable trust we are constantly fundraising to cover our day to day running costs of The Nest – Te Kohanga, and the wider Zoo, as well as future development.”

“Happy Feet’s story has touched people all over the world and it is worth noting that almost half of the donations received towards his care have been from overseas donors”

“We are honoured that people have chosen to help us help Happy Feet – it is only natural that people have different views about how much or how little charities should fulfil society’s needs, and we are very grateful that people have chosen to donate their money to this cause.”

“We’re humbled by the worldwide support for Happy Feet and wanted to share with you some of the warm words of encouragement we received from donors around the world during our care for Happy Feet.:

‘Thank you taking care of Happy Feet and letting the world watch’
Nancy, USA

‘Thank you for saving Happy Feet. I'm going to miss him. I watch him everyday at work all day long here in California. I guess he will have to go home You guys saved his life!
The Wellington Zoo in New Zealand are Hero's!!!!! He is so cute! Thanks also for the web cam viewing!’

Brian, USA

‘Warm wishes to the staff of the zoo taking care of this lost penguin, keep up the good work!’
Raj, Canada

‘Give him a nice piece of fish for us!!!=)’
Stacey, Hamilton, New Zealand

“Please treat Happy Feet very well - if he goes back to nature and we will track him by satellite - I am sure, that we will learn a lot from him. I think he is a bit special!
Sabine, Switzerland

And a special thanks to Bella, Heidi and Eliza of Rangiora who kindly donated their pocket money to help us look after Happy Feet!

Happy Feet is now heading towards the southern ocean – Dr Argilla is blogging about the trip here if you are interested in seeing how the voyage is going.


© Scoop Media

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