Wellington Zoo veterinarian Lisa Argilla said Happy Feet needed a bit of “gentle encouragement” to enter the water. “He slid down his specially designed penguin slide backwards,” she said, “but once he hit the water he spared no time in diving off away from the boat and all those ‘aliens’ who have been looking after him for so long.”
“It’s been a pleasure to have Happy Feet onboard,” said voyage leader Richard O’Driscoll. “We are just happy to help him on his journey home.”
Watch the first leg of the little guy’s big journey start below:
You can track Happy Feet’s swim back home to Antarctica with this nifty tracking map.