The little blue penguin that washed up on the streets of a landlocked upmarket Auckland suburb last weekend has died from starvation.
Bird Rescue founder Lyn MacDonald, who took the lost bird under her wing, said it was suffering from a form of avian anorexia and could not be nurtured back to health.
Dubbed Piwi by those who found it shuffling along Remuera's Shore Rd, the penguin was initially tube-fed at the sanctuary but deteriorated mid-week.
MacDonald said the bird was raced to a nearby veterinary clinic but did not survive the night.
"The vet did everything he could but couldn't save him," said MacDonald.
She said Piwi was in a very poor condition when he arrived at the West Auckland bird sanctuary and appeared not to have eaten for a long time. "From the outset he was extremely thin."
The family who found the penguin said they were very sad to learn of its demise. Said Yoshiko Taylor: "Oh, I am so sad... He is in a good place now."