Two new feathery-faced penguins have made their debut at Melbourne Zoo after being nurtured back to life from the brink of death.
Fiordland penguins Edward and Kim were rescued from different beaches on the Mornington Peninsula in July after suffering trauma in the ocean.
“Both penguins were quite lifeless and very malnourished when they were found on the beach,” keeper Liz Liddicoat said in a statement on Friday.
“They were both quickly brought back to the veterinary department at Melbourne Zoo for life-saving treatment.”
As a result of the nature of their injuries, keepers decided it was best for the duo to stay at Melbourne Zoo and they have been on display since mid-December.
A special area in the penguin enclosure, which used to exclusively house little penguins, was prepared for the duo although they choose to hang out with the colony.
“We were a bit worried about how the little penguins would receive their new housemates, but they’ve been great and have had some lovely beak-to-beak interactions and spend a lot of time swimming together,” Ms Liddicoat said.
Fiordland penguins have a distinct yellow eyebrow-stripe and a tuft of white feathers on their cheeks.
They only breed in New Zealand and can swim up to 7000km in search of food, which is why they are sometimes found in Victorian waters.
It is estimated there are only 2500-3000 breeding pairs left in the wild.