Recently several months ago, a little lost emperor penguin from the Antarctic washed ashored about 40 miles from Wellington, New Zealand. No one really knew what had caused him to veer so far off course from his home and natural feeding grounds. He was discovered on the Peka Peka Beach on June 20th where he appeared to not be in good health. At that time he was taken to the Wellington Zoo and was examined by a veterinarian, Lisa Argilla. It was discovered that the source of his ill health was that he had been eating sand which he had mistaken for snow. It was here at the zoo that he was named "Happy Feet".

Happy Feet then spent the next couple of months recuperating at the zoo under the care of the veterinarian where he quickly recovered his health. During this time that it was discussed and plans were set into motion to return Happy Feet back to his home in Antarctica. The cost of returning him home was going to be around $30,000.

While Happy Feet was recovering at the zoo, he became an Internet star. A web cam was set up on June 30th in his ice filled room and he soon had a huge following of 120,000 people where no one really cared if he did little more than eat, sleep and occasionally waddle. People were also talking about him on Face Book and Twitter. Thousands more are expected to tune in to follow his whereabouts in the Antarctic because he has been fitted with a GPs tracker. Although the tracker will come off when he molts in April, he has also been fitted with a microchip that will be triggered if he travels near monitored colonies in Antarctica.

Finally the big day arrived recently when he was taken back home. He traveled in the research ship the Tangaroa and arrived on Sunday morning in Antarctica. It was here that he was released about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of the remote Campbell Island in water that was 935 ft. (285 meters) deep. He had been in a crate for 6 days on the ship and it took a little encouragement to get him to come out of it upon arrival. When he finally did come out, he slid down the ramp of the ship and then had no more second thoughts. He was home and he was quickly gone.

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