February 18, 2024
Runway Intrigue: Penguin Causes Flight Delays at Wellington National Airport
World Travel

Runway Intrigue: Penguin Causes Flight Delays at Wellington National Airport

Runway Intrigue: Penguin Causes Flight Delays at Wellington National Airport/NZTV

Runway Intrigue: Penguin Causes Flight Delays at Wellington National Airport

A flight delay at New Zealand’s Wellington National Airport wasn’t due to typical aviation issues but a tiny blue penguin on the runway. An Air Chathams pilot spotted the penguin, known as Korora, prompting airport staff to rush to its rescue. The penguin was safely collected and taken to Wellington Zoo for recovery. Wellington Airport shared the incident on Instagram, highlighting the runway temperature of 50 degrees and the penguin’s subsequent unhappiness. They also mentioned penguin-proofing measures, including fencing, to prevent future runway encounters.

Rescued and Recovering at Wellington Zoo

The six-week-old penguin, discovered thin and hungry, is recovering at The Nest in Wellington Zoo. Blood tests, x-rays, and a diet rich in fish are part of its rehabilitation plan. Although a bit underweight, the penguin is in good health. Adult feathers have grown in, and the plan is to release the Korora back into the wild once its feathers are waterproof.

Airport’s Wildlife Officer Comments

According to Wellington Airport’s Wildlife Officer, Jack Howarth, the penguin was “less-than-impressed” and had likely been exposed to the sun without shelter. The incident highlights the challenges of wildlife encounters at airports, prompting efforts to enhance fencing and protect both aviation operations and local wildlife.

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