Penguin of the Year 2018
The winner of the first ever National Aquarium of New Zealand Penguin of the Year Award is....
We've had so many votes over the last few weeks from all around the world on Facebook, Instagram and our website. Thank you for taking such a keen interest in our wonderful Little Penguins.
Timmy was treated to a feast of fish and will soon see his name up in lights (well, not quite). Perhaps he'll use this experience and his star status to improve his ways and turn his naughty behaviour into good? We'll keep you posted!
Timmy was our first ever Naughty Penguin of the Month. He always tries to steal fish, and knock other penguins out of the way to get the food. He also has a reputation for flicking sand everywhere – in the food, and into the keepers’ eyes. Timmy was found on a local beach here in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand with a spinal injury and brought to the National Aquarium. He couldn’t walk (couldn’t even stand, dragged himself around with his beak and flippers) and originally went to Massey University for some initial treatment. He’s had chiropractic work because of his spinal injury, and can now walk, a little wobbly on his feet but so much better than he was. He is a very good swimmer, but due to his injuries, he will be living a life of luxury at Penguin Cove from now on, as he’s not fit enough to be released back into the wild.
Penguin Cove and Rehabilitation Centre
The Little Penguin is the world’s smallest species of penguin, and is native to New Zealand and also South Australia.
Their name is perfect for them, because Little Penguins only grow to about 30 centimetres tall, and usually only weigh around one kilo.
Because the National Aquarium of New Zealand is located right next to the sea, there is a constant supply of fresh salt water for the penguins’ pools, and no need to use chemicals and additives to try to recreate sea water in the enclosure. This is of course, best for the birds’ health.
Life is a bit different for the Little Penguins at the National Aquarium. Here, they are offered food three times per day, each eating around 200 grams of food in a day. Their diet is made up of small school fish such as herring, mackerel and kahawai. Little penguins have also been known to eat krill and squid.
All of the Little Penguins at the National Aquarium are here because they need help from our specialist staff. Some penguins are brought in because they have been abandoned as chicks, are partially sighted, have become sick in the wild or injured in dog attacks. Some of them are missing flippers due to getting caught in fishing nylon.
The National Aquarium is a rehabilitation centre for most of the Little Penguins, sending them back out into the wild when they are recovered and ready. Some penguins are unfortunately not strong enough to return to their natural habitats, so they find a permanent home here.