Lost, stranded royal penguin dies

| Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A royal penguin that became stranded on a beach more than 1,000 miles from its sub-Antarctic home has died in a New Zealand zoo.

The penguin was emaciated and suffering kidney failure when it arrived at the Wellington Zoo after being found Sunday by hikers.

The zoo did the best it could, Lisa Argilla, the facility's veterinary science manager, said on Friday. They suspect the penguin suffered multiple organ failure. It was severely underweight, she said, and had no reserves.

The penguin was about a year old, 20 inches long and weighed about 6 pounds when it arrived, Argilla said. Royal penguins can grow to about 30 inches and 12 pounds.

They have a yellow crest, eat krill and squid, and generally live around Macquarie Island, about halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica. They are considered a threatened species but not endangered.

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