21 Feb 2013

Royal penguin slowly improving

9:56 pm on 21 February 2013

The health of a young Royal penguin found thousands of kilometres from its Antarctic home is improving.

The bird was found critically ill on the Wairarapa coast on Sunday and rushed to Wellington Zoo for urgent medical care. Staff say their main concern is organ failure from starvation.

The zoo's veterinary science manager, Lisa Argilla, said on Thursday the penguin is starting to eat more fish and getting more feisty, meaning it is slowly regaining its strength.

Dr Argilla said even though the bird is getting better, it is still too soon to confidently say that it will survive.