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As well as a tourism destination, the National Aquarium of New Zealand is a rehabilitation centre for most of the Little Penguins

Penguin Info for Awareness Day


By —— Bio and Archives--January 17, 2018

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Penguin Info for Awareness Day
If you aren’t a fan of adorable penguins and their shenanigans, you should stop reading now. But who doesn’t love penguins?

With Penguin Awareness Day happening on January 20, we thought we’d update you on some of the places you can see the cute little fellas in New Zealand – and remind you about one particularly naughty penguin named Timmy.

There are 18 different penguin species, with seven found in New Zealand

There are 18 different penguin species, with seven found in New Zealand – yellow-eyed, Fiordland crested/tawaki, white-flippered, erect-crested, Snares, rockhopper and little blue.
For penguin experiences around New Zealand.

Timmy, a little blue penguin, has become a household name in New Zealand and around the world – after being featured on the habitat’s “naughty and good” board at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, in Napier, a number of times. He is a serial naughty penguin who never seems to learn his lesson.

Check out his mug shot on the National Aquarium’s Facebook page

Keepers at the acquarium vote each month on who deserves the titles of “good” and “naughty” penguin. Timmy tries to steal fish and he’s often knocking other penguins out of the way to get food. He also has a reputation for flicking sand everywhere – in the food and into the keepers’ eyes – and generally causing mischief!

He was found on a local beach in Napier, with a spinal injury, and was brought to the aquarium. He couldn’t walk – couldn’t even stand – and dragged himself around with his beak and flippers. He had medical care and chiropractic work because of his spinal injury, and can now walk. Although he’s a little wobbly on his feet, Timmy is so much better than he was. He is a very good swimmer, but due to his injuries, he will be living a life of luxury at the National Aquarium of New Zealand from now on, as he’s not fit enough to be released back into the wild.

Little Penguin Facts

  • The Little Penguin is the world’s smallest species of penguin and is native to New Zealand and South Australia.
  • Their name is perfect for them, because little penguins only grow to about 30 centimetres tall and usually only weigh around one kg.
  • In the wild, little penguins tend to spend most of their days fishing at sea. They usually leave early in the morning and return to shore, as it gets dark. Once back on land, they socialize, sleep and breed in their burrows.
  • Their diet is made up of small school fish such as herring, mackerel and kahawai.
  • Little penguins have also been known to eat krill and squid.


All of the Little Penguins at the National Aquarium are there because they need help from their specialist staff. Some penguins are brought in because they have been abandoned as chicks, are partially sighted, have become sick in the wild or are injured.

As well as a tourism destination, the National Aquarium of New Zealand is a rehabilitation centre for most of the Little Penguins, sending them back out into the wild when they are recovered and ready. Some penguins are unfortunately not strong enough to return to their natural habitats, so they find a permanent home at the facility.


Travel New Zealand -- Bio and Archives | Comments

For more information on New Zealand, please visit: NewZealand.com. The site offers interactive planning tools, special travel deals, operator listings and information on New Zealand.


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