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Wayward penguin finally on his way back home

Happy Feet is now free.

The story of the wayward penguin I’ve been covering for the past few months is starting a new chapter after he was released into the waters hundreds of miles off New Zealand.

If you’re not familiar with the famous penguin, he was found on the beaches of New Zealand at the beginning of summer, which is nearly 2,000 miles away from his home in Antarctica. Scientists were going to let him make his own decisions until he started eating sand off the beach, probably mistaking it for snow, which penguins eat to cool themselves down.

The penguin was named Happy Feet and went through an extensive rehabilitation after it seemed like he might not make it. Fortunately, he made a full recovery and was finally released into the waters.

As you can see from the video below, he wasn’t too sure what to do when he was released. Scientists had to give him a little nudge to get into the water.

If this were any other time, the saga would be over and the public would rest assured thinking he made it back to Antarctica safely. However, with new technology, a satellite tracking device was put on Happy Feet, so the whole world could see where he goes.

This is a boon for scientists who are researching penguins’ behaviors. I’m sure this won’t be the last we hear of this celebrity penguin, but I hope he makes it back home all right.

Track Happy Feet on his journey back home by going to his tracking website.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.