A PENGUIN who diced with death is dancing to a much happier tune after being saved by Australian Seabird Rescue.
The fairy penguin was found miserable and starving at Moruya’s South Head two-and-a-half weeks ago and released back into the sea happy and healthy on Saturday.
Tuross Head’s Peter West was called to collect the bird on behalf of Australian Seabird Rescue after it was found on the beach by a passer-by who took it to the nearby caravan park.
Mr West kept the penguin overnight and rehydrated it before handing it over to rescuers for specialist care in Wollongong.
“It only had one eye open and it was starving. It was just sitting on the back of the beach,” Mr West said.
“Penguins shouldn’t be on the beach in the daytime. It’s sick if it is.”
Mr West said the vet’s treatment included eye cream and a weight-gain regimen, which saw it restored to a healthier 1.1 kilos.
Two weeks later, Mr West met a carer at Ulladulla who handed over the bird. On Saturday the bird was released where it had been found two weeks ago.
“He sat in the box for a quarter of an hour. Once he came out he took off straight in the water,” Mr West said.
“This little one was really keen to live.”
Mr West said it was not unusual for penguins to be in the area, and that they often swam from Montague Island.