A patter of Happy Feet – and an emperor returns to the sea

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The Independent Online

He needed a little push before speeding backward down a makeshift slide.

Once in the water, he popped his head up for one last look. And then he was gone. The wayward emperor penguin known as "Happy Feet" was back home in Antarctic waters after an extended sojourn in New Zealand.

Happy Feet was released into the ocean south of New Zealand yesterday more than two months after he came ashore on a beach nearly 2,000 miles from home. He became an instant celebrity after his sudden appearance, but needed medical attention after he ate sand that he had mistaken for snow. It had been 44 years since an emperor penguin was last spotted in the wild in New Zealand. AP