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Track Happy Feet

Track Happy Feet's progress via a satellite tracker as he makes his way back to Antarctica. Happy Feet is a male Emperor Penguin that got seriously lost and ended up on Peka Peka beach, New Zealand.  He has graciously offered to carry a satellite tag so we can track his journey daily as he heads south to Antarctica.

Update 12 Sep 2011 - The transmitter has appeared to stop transmitting. This could be due to a number of reasons, but it may not be due to interference from the solar flares as previously speculated. There are a number of reasons this may have happened - transmitter falling off, transmitter damage, technical failure etc. Our view is the most likely scenario is the transmitter has fallen off. After all it was only glued on and would have had to survive extreme conditions. It will be at least a couple of days before we know for sure that the transmitter is no longer working. Hopefully we'll be pleasantly surprised. But if we don't get further readings then we'll have to hope for the best and be thankful that we've had such a wonderful cause to raise peoples' awareness of the Far South.

Thanks to Sirtrack for supplying the satellite hardware.

We will bring updates of Happy Feet’s daily progress to you each night on the TV3 News weather report

Sign up to receive updates of Happy Feet and the Our Far South journey.

Happy Feet's progress

9 September 2011

End of Day 5 and for the second day our boy has travelled due east with no southerly progress. Wind and tide appear to be in the ascendancy. He’s still north of Campbell Island though more and more to the east of it.

8 September 2011

End of Day 4 and the bird is a further 8 kms closer to the Ross Sea. He’s headed more east today than previous days when he’s been heading southeast. He’s also not covered so many kms, suggesting he’s been spending more time just sitting in the tide. Maybe it’s time for a feed or he’s chasing the ladies.

We have a competition open for schools – guess where Happy Feet will be on Day 50 of his epic voyage. The winning class will get a model of Happy Feet's feet from Weta to display in their class. Thanks Weta! Just go to our competition page to find out how to enter

7 September 2011

Our bird has made a gain of 22 kms further toward home over the last 24 hours, a good performance pushing pretty much southward. More pertinently he’s also put an additional 6kms between him and the sandy beaches of Campbell island overnight. He seems to be swimming between 2-3 kph today, a bit slower than yesterday – this includes an hour when he seemed to get distracted and put on no distance at all. Wonder what’s caught his interest?

6 September 2011

Our bird has travelled 31 kms closer to his homeland over the last 24 hours, a big gain on the 8 kms he made over the day before. That’s the good news. He’s closer to Campbell Island though (just 69 kms away) so let’s hope his fetish for sandy beaches doesn’t surface as he continues to head southeast. Thankfully Campbell is southwest – upwind and upcurrent from where our bird is. He looks to be swimming at around 3-4 kph although of course not in a straight line. Makes for a long trip home.

5 September 2011

When he was dropped off at  10.28 am yesterday McMurdo Sound, the most probable location of his colony,  was due south some 2619 kilometres. As of 8am this morning he was 2612 kms from home, so he’s 7 kms closer. Looking at his track over the day he’s swum at least double that distance. Clearly he’s in no hurry.

4 September 2011

The bird has flown. He was released at 10:28am, a bit earlier than scheduled and just 49 miles north of Campbell Island at about 51.7 degrees south – some 2,625 kilometres though from McMurdo Sound where his colony is most likely to be. Some swim!! The wind has dropped to a gentle 19 knots from the crazy 50 knots of a day ago, the swell was down to just 2 metres, and the water temperature is a cool 7 degrees which he welcomed as he slid down the ramp at the back of the Tangaroa. We will bring updates of Happy Feet’s daily progress to you each night on the TV3 News weather report. For a live feed on where he is and the conditions he’s facing go to Congratulations to Dr Lisa Argilla of Wellington Zoo and the crew of NIWA’s Tangaroa for delivering him safely.

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