Two injured Tawaki, Fiordland Crested Penguins are having treatment at the Zoo’s veterinary hospital The Nest Te Kōhanga. They were rescued and sent up from the West Coast of the South Island.

Harry water proofing at salt water pool

Harry the Tawaki at The Nest Te Kōhanga

Via rescue, care and support from the West Coast Penguin Trust, DOC and Westport native bird rehabilitator Julie Leighton, these Penguins are fortunate to have found their way first to local people who care and then to the best possible Tawaki care at the Zoo.

Gonzo, was brought in with a large abdominal wound and a broken bone in her chest area, and we are not sure what caused her injuries. She is healing well and we are hopeful that she will soon be able to be released back onto the West Coast. Harry on the other hand came to us with an eye injury. This was potentially quite a serious injury as Tawaki can’t hunt with the use of only one eye..

We asked an ophthalmologist to come in and examine Harry’s eye, and the prognosis is looking better than we first suspected. Harry is expected to make a full recovery and will also be able to be restored to the wild near where he was found.

Gonzo being treated at Wellington Zoo

Gonzo receiving a health check at The Nest Te Kōhanga

Both Penguins are showing signs of improvement and have healthy appetites eating up to 600g of fish a day to help build their strength up for going back to the West Coast.

The Zoo has a conservation partnership with West Coast Penguin Trust (WCPT) helping to save these nationally vulnerable animals in the wild.

As well as research grants, the Zoo supports WCPT in various other ways including through the care given to Penguins at The Nest Te Kōhanga.

We look forward to releasing Gonzo and Harry back to their natural habitat soon.