‘Silver’ was malnourished and still covered in fine, downy feathers when found by a member of the public at Right Point.
After several weeks in recovery, Silver has slowly gained weight and has grown her waterproof feathers. Before leaving the wildlife clinic, Little Penguins must be able to swim for three hours and still have dry feathers to be released back into the wild.
Wildlife Clinic manager Kim Noy said her team sees around 80 penguins each year, with carers rehabilitating the birds with as little human interaction as possible. “After a final weigh-in, feed, and swim in the rehabilitation pool, Silver was ready for release to a burrow near the Penguin Parade,” Ms Noy said. “Juvenile Little Penguins are released to a burrow in the wild to give them the best chance of survival. While adult penguins are released onto the beach and swim out to sea.”
“Silver has made a full recovery and is now ready to live her life in the wild. When she’s strong enough she will go out to sea and spend her first year out in the ocean, heading west near Portland to make the most of the abundant fishing through the area.”
The wildlife clinic opened in 2011 and is funded through Phillip Island Nature Parks ecotourism activities and the Penguin Foundation Adopt a Penguin program. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Rangers use coloured ribbon to identify the little penguins in their care. Silver’s name refers to her colour ribbon.
View the exclusive 7 News footage of Silver's release.