Happy Feet has captured the imaginations of Kiwis by washing up on a beach 5,000 kilometers outside his normal habitat. We've watched as he's gone through many operations at the Nest in Wellington's zoo, and eaten kilos of New Zealand salmon, getting ready for his return to the Southern Ocean on the 29th of August.
As well as helping sponsor Happy Feet's salmon dinners, Gareth and Jo Morgan are footing the bill for his GPS tracker so we can all keep up to date with Happy Feet's progress to the Antarctic. They're also giving Kiwis a chance to send off our famous visitor with a giant farewell card, which you can sign at www.farewellhappyfeet.co.nz. The messages will be printed on a giant farewell card which will be given to Wellington Zoo.
All this fuss for one penguin?
Gareth and Jo Morgan have a much wider agenda than just one famous penguin. In February 2012 they will lead the Our Far South expedition to Antarctica & the sub-Antarctic Islands to raise New Zealanders' awareness of the area between Foveaux Strait and the South Pole.
"Happy Feet just showed up at the perfect time," says Gareth Morgan. "We're already working on a big awareness project, and this penguin has done far more to stir up the public than I ever could!"
"This whole penguin episode isn't important because of one bird showing up, getting fixed up and fattened up, and shipped home. It's much bigger than that. It's just a fantastic eye opener for Kiwis about the vast area south New Zealand. I want people to understand the value of that area and the threats and opportunities down there. The more aware New Zealanders are of these issues, the more likely our future governments are to make decisions that reflect an ongoing commitment to this region."
Details about the expedition are at www.ourfarsouth.org
Sign Happy Feet's farewell card at www.farewellhappyfeet.co.nz
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