June 24, 2011

Wellington-Emperor penguin treated at zoo


"Happy Feet", the Emperor penguin has been in the news here a lot recently after being found on a New Zealand beach. After being assigned his own bodyguard, it was noticed he was eating sad and sticks and starting to act strangely, so he was taken to Wellington Zoo for treatment at "The Nest".

I always follow their activities as one of my past students and our animal technician at work, Angelina, is now a vet nurse there - she posted these photos of him being looked after there today. She is the nurse in red at left....
I feel for him - sick and injured and far from home...
Possibly even more so than usual because I tripped over a speaker stand while out to dinner at the conference in Hamilton on Wednesday night... not drunk or dancing on tables, despite the comments on facebook! One ambulance later, lots of deep breaths of gas, a few tablets, and some time at A and E, they were ready to discharge me. 1.30 am, strange city, falling over in pain on crutches, I was supposed to negotiate my way back to the hotel apartment, hop fearlessly for miles to the room and care for myself alone. This hotel has no food on site either - no room service! The nurses asked if I knew anyone in Hamilton I could stay with! Finally, one of the nurses had the sense to call in a second opinion and I got to lie in a side room all night. The morning nurse helped me arrange to hire a wheelchair from a nearby company, and they escorted me out into the cold and rain, in evening wear, barefoot, large brown bag of boots and splints, to wait for a taxi. Luckily I did have an eftpos card in my miniature handbag, and the taxi took me to the hire place, collected my wheelchair, and delivered me "home". Nice friends came from the conference and got me some food from a shop and the hotel owner got me a chair for my shower! I managed to pack and get organised, and even take a taxi to the brilliant gala dinner for the vet conference... I couldn't mingle or dance or drink, but was good to be there.

Today I did the return journey, dropping off the hire chair from the taxi, and, thanks to Air New Zealand, the flight went, despite the ash cloud from the Chile volcano. While waiting, they sat me in my wheelchair near the coffee shop as I really wanted some breakfast. Sitting with my crutches and briefcase and handbag, gradually realising there was no way I could get it all to the disabled toilets alone! No one to look after it either, so I decided not to eat or drink. I had the pleasure of a little hoist to get the chair onto the plane, and off ... before finally catching a taxi safely home as Scott had been called into work.

I can't get another wheelchair until Monday, so it will be a quiet weekend .. and then back to see doctor, physio, orthopods...
but it is great to be home.

I bet "Happy Feet" would feel the same if he could be fixed up and returned home to Antarctica.

Posted via email from Four Paws and Whiskers


  1. Jeepers, I can't believe how unlucky you were. If Phoebe wasn't so sick I would have made the drive to look after you.
    Did the Dr say what you had broken?
    Lots of love from the Treacys

  2. The doctor, aka sadist medic, said he couldn't tell because I was in too much pain for him to manipulate my knee....
    I am to see a docto next week when swelling is down.. and start physio too.
    No bones broken - all soft tissue -
    hope Phoebe is feeling better :)

  3. Thinking of you, and hoping for no nasty shakes to throw you off balance while you're recovering.

  4. Oh man.............rotten luck. Just what you need to add to the recent trauma that is already present in your rocking homeground. I hope you have a speedy recovery. Get some arnica drops to put under your tongue, I swear they do wonders. Love Jaz xx

  5. Heavens above Fi. I knew from Facebook that you'd had a mishap but I hadn't realised the extent. I'm sort of out of Blogland for a few days with a house-guest and everyone seems to be having mishaps. You obviously need to take a Minder with you when you go out! I hope you get well quickly.


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