A kororā/little penguin chick rescued from Kennedy Point on Tuesday is being cared for at Native Bird Rescue.

NBR rehabilitation trainee Lewis Miller said a passenger waiting for the Sealink ferry raised the alarm. The bird was shaking and wet, he said. However, because it is still covered in brown fluffy plumage that’s easily waterlogged, it was too young to be out of the nest.

Back at the bird rescue centre the kororā was warmed up and given water, glucose and electrolytes before being given 10ml of water every two hours with tiny amounts of fish smoothie progressively added.

On Wednesday morning, NBR founder Karen Saunders said the kororā had made it through the night and was pooping out gravel and sea lice, which showed it had been foraging on the ground. It weighed 330g on arrival which she said was around a third of the expected weight for its age.

“We’ve got one at 1kg that hasn’t lost any fluff yet. But they can vary quite a lot depending on how much their parents feed them. We won’t know for a few days yet if he will pull through. It depends how much damage has been done internally from malnutrition. Getting through the first night is always a good sign though.”

Karen speculated the chick had been abandoned and had left its nest seeking food.

Also on Wednesday, Department of Conservation investigations team lead Dylan Swain revealed he was investigating the death of a kororā rescued from Pūtiki Bay on 11 November – with a dog the likely culprit.

Swain said that although DoC staff are awaiting further test results, the necropsy showed the likely cause of death was as a result of a dog attack and DoC has received an image of a dog in the area in the early morning of the day the kororā was found. • Erin Johnson

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