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King Penguin Spotted a Long Way from Home

February 1, 2024 8:45 am in by
A young King Penguin has been spotted in South Australia. Photo: Abel Zevenboom

Bird watchers have gotten more than they bargained for with some rare sightings of a king penguin in South Australia.

The species, which normally lives in Antartica and sub-Antartic islands, was seen by bird watchers along the Coorong and South East of the state.

The young bird approached members of the Friends of Shorebirds South East at Coorong Ocean Beach, north of Tea Tree Crossing, on 25 January while they were doing a coastal survey, with Abel Zevenboom from the group taking some snaps (pictured here).

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The last time a king penguin turned up in SA was at Port MacDonnell in 2004, and before that one was also spotted in the nearby Canunda National Park in 1987.

Experts have told the ABC that the penguin appears to be healthy.

Australian Antarctic Division senior research scientist Dr Barbara Wienecke has told the ABC that it is rare for king penguins to end up on the mainland and that it is hard to determine why they made the journey.

“The bird … seems to be in incredibly good condition, so I suspect that he or she is probably going to start moulting,” she said.

Photo: Abel Zevenboom
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