Royal Penguin In Critical Condition After Long, Improbable Journey To New Zealand (Video)

Owen Poindexter
A Royal Penguin showed up mysteriously in New Zealand--only the 4th Royal Penguin to do so--and now it is struggling to survive. (video)

New Zealand is working hard to save a refugee from the Antarctic. The unlikely survivor is a Royal Penguin, and one of very few to venture from its Antarctic home all the way to New Zealand. How and why the bird did so is still an open question, but veterinarians at the Wellington Zoo are working hard to keep the little guy alive. He's only the fourth Royal Penguin known to come to New Zealand.

"He's making very small progress every day, but he's still in critical condition," said one vet, who is seen in the video swaddling the penguin with a towel.

Things get a little peculiar, at least to the non-zoologists, when the video cuts to the "penguin expert," who is seen pulling out a tray of penguin bodies so he can have a couple of nearby props for his interview.

"It might just take a slight shift in oceanic currents or a bird that's a bit more adventurous than its companions to come this far north."

The bird may not survive, but it can at least enjoy some time as New Zealand's most rooted for penguin.