Electioneering is in full swing at the National Aquarium of New Zealand. The candidates aren’t always on message, and they change coalition partners even more frequently than candidates in that ‘other’ election coming up.
Who will be voted 2023 Penguin of the Year? Delightful Dora pulled it off last year, and before that, it was bad boy Mo. Excitement is brewing in the burrows as the community of kororā and their keepers get ready for the event of the year.
Penguin of the Year is a lot of fun and is followed by fans all over the world, but behind it all is a serious intent: raising the profile of the care and protection of kororā/little penguins. The National Aquarium’s Penguin Cove is a rehabilitation centre for kororā, assisting with recovery of sick or injured birds and returning them to the wild. Some penguins are not strong enough to return to their natural habitats, so they find a permanent home at the Cove.
Supervisor of Birds Rebekah Cuthbert and her team at the National Aquarium have welcomed three new kororā to Penguin Cove this year – Squishy, Eric and Pipi.
“Squishy is a real socialite, Eric is a pretty swift fish snatcher and Pipi is fast becoming the princess of Penguin Cove!” says Rebekah.
“All three were born in captivity from eggs laid by Penguin Cove kororā who were rescued as injured animals from Napier’s seashore.”
Voting opens today, with the winner being announced on Wednesday 13 September. In previous years, votes have come in the thousands from countries as far away as Brazil, India, Vietnam, France, England and USA.
The National Aquarium’s social media channels (Facebook, Instagram and TikTok) will profile each penguin during the campaign and voters can go to their website to vote for their favourite. People can also book virtual or in-person encounters to get an insight into penguin’s characteristics.
More information about Little Penguins at NANZ:
All of the National Aquarium of New Zealand’s Little Penguins are there because they need help from specialist staff. They arrived as abandoned chicks, victims of dog attacks and other predators, partially sighted, or have become sick in the wild. Some are missing flippers due to getting caught in fishing nylon.
The National Aquarium’s Penguin Cove facility is a rehabilitation centre for kororā, assisting with recovery of sick or injured birds and returning them to the wild. Some penguins are not strong enough to return to their natural habitats, so they find a permanent home at Penguin Cove. The penguins have lots of space to waddle across their own private beach and then dart through the water as they go about their penguin business.
13 September 2023
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