Lost penguin recovering after mistaking sand for snow in New Zealand

July 12, 2011 at 6:12 PM ET

This poor confused penguin, dubbed "Happy Feet," didn't know quite what to do when he washed up on a sandy New Zealand beach rather than on the snowy shores he was accustomed to. He's not too happy now, recovering from surgery and potentially looking at months of rehabilitation, but scientists and fans alike are wishing him a speedy recovery. Read the full story about "Happy Feet" here.

Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images /
"Happy Feet" the emperor penguin that washed up on the Kapiti Coast last week, undergoes a medical examination at Wellington Zoo on June 29, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. The young penguin landed on NZ shores last week, after traveling over 3,000 kilometres from the antarctic. The ill penguin was operated on at Wellington Zoo several times this week to remove sand and sticks from it's stomach with hopes it will recover fully. A team of experts is likely to decide today, whether the bird will remain in captivity in New Zealand, or be transported back the the antarctic.