Blue penguins, the world’s smallest penguins, are native to New Zealand but typically, they only come onto land at night. It’s very rare to see one of these penguins during the day. But much to the locals’ surprise, one little blue penguin was found standing alone on a beach in Christchurch.
Resident Jeff Mein Smith first noticed the tiny flightless bird while passing by a stretch of coast on his bike. Evidently, he was not the only one.
A crowd had gathered around and apparently, some of the people weren’t doing a good job restraining their dogs that went on chasing the very nervous baby penguin, who was later named Billy. All she wanted was to be left alone while she waited for her mother to come to get her.
Some of the locals were upset when they saw that people were bothering Billy who was not able to communicate directly with folks passing by to ask that they respect her space. So, a few kind people stepped up and posted an important message on her behalf. It said:
“Hi. I’m waiting for my mum to come back. D.O.C. knows I’m here. Please keep your dogs away. Thanks, Billy the baby blue penguin.”
Although it might not be spelled out, Billy is thankful for the kind gesture. Conveniently, she remained close by, making it clear that the sign spoke for her. A few hours later, the Department of Conservation (D.O.C.) came to see Billy. One of the senior rangers, Anita Spencer, said that it was good to see people looking out for coastal wildlife.
The rangers examined Billy and found that she was two months old. This meant she was too old to be dependent and her mom most likely wasn’t coming back for her. The Rangers also learned that Billy was underweight – weighing only 550 grams when she should have weighed at least 900 grams.
And so, the Rangers took Bill to Christchurch Penguin Rehabilitation Center to care for her. She will stay there for about three weeks until she’s strong enough to go back into the wild.