Sans cet hôpital pour manchots menacés en Nouvelle-Zélande, les oiseaux seraient

Without New Zealand’s critically endangered Hospital Penguin, the birds would be “functionally extinct”.

New Zealand vets are keeping a species of penguin endemic to the beautiful South Island alive through cuts, feces, COVID and ‘pinball’.

An endangered species, and one of the world’s rarest penguins, the yellow-eyed penguin, or “Hoiho”, which means “noise-caller” in Maori, includes between 4,000 and 5,000 birds.

Over the years, two institutions located in Dunedin, near the extraordinary Otago Peninsula, Wildlife Hospital and Penguin Place, have treated birds and released them into the wild.

“When I see the difference we’re making, especially for hoiho, this kind of species excites me, and just being able to work with these birds and bring them back into the wild is actually the best part of my job,” Wildlife Hospital veterinarian Dr. Lisa Argila said. For BBC Travel.

4,000 to 5,000 isn’t that bad, but when you consider that there are only 265 breeding pairs known, the fact that 95% of those who make it to hospital recover to be released again underscores the extraordinary contribution of the two teams nationally. Save the kiwi.

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“If Penguin Place didn’t exist, I can almost guarantee the population would be functionally extinct,” Jason Van Xanten, director of conservation at Penguin Place, also told the BBC.

Before the wildlife hospital opened in January 2018, the injured penguins found at Penguin Place, which has been in operation since the 1990s, were to be shipped to the North Island for treatment. The immediate proximity with which the Huyu could treat the population greatly helped.

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However, as the world’s first fully-funded tourism-funded conservation park, Penguin Place has suffered greatly from government-imposed COVID-19 measures, and now has enough capital left to survive in the next few months. With the return of warmer weather, Penguin Place needs a simultaneous return of tourists, or it will have to close its doors and leave the penguins to their own devices.

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Honestly, it’s not a bad trip. The rugged coastlines, high lands, and sheltered fjords of the Otago Peninsula are home to a diverse array of landscapes and animals, many of which are preserved thanks to tourist money.

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While waiting for tourists to return for Coastal Preserve tours, Penguin Place has turned to donations, which you can contribute to on their website at the same time you’re planning a visit.

(Learn a few of the kiwi penguins in the video below.)

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