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baby penguin


March 25, 2015

We received a phone call Monday night from someone who rescued a “baby penguin” that was being attacked by gulls. The little one arrived the next morning, weighing 343 grams. Common rehab wisdom holds that a penguin below 500 grams won’t survive… but we always try. We’ve beaten the odds before, although very rarely. This one is youngish, so would naturally weigh a bit less. Apologies for the poor photo, I didn’t want to stress her with a flash. Inside of her mouth is pure white instead of healthy pink, which means that she is starving. We have to resist the temptation to give her food, because her digestive system is shut down and she can’t process it. So we start her with warm water and electrolytes. Once her system is functioning again (ie when she starts to wee and pooh), then we can move on to pureed fishy water, and finally onto to tiny mushy slivers. All that can take several days before she goes on to real fish pieces. I hope and pray that she lasts that long, because we already adore her!



The sweet little penguin that came into our care is now in her new “home”. It’s a baby’s playpen, with a deep layer of sheets and towels, and a box to simulate the den they live in. Beneath the box is a mild heating pad. When birds are ill they become hypothermic, meaning their body temperature drops. So as counter-intuitive as it may seem for an ocean bird, right now we need to keep her lightly warmed. We do have penguin jumpers, but she’s too small for the ones we have. I’ve put a stuffed toy in the den, so she has someone to cuddle with, and thinks she’s not alone. Petite is being tube fed a small amount of warm water with electrolytes every hour. We needed to get her digestive system working, and wait until we saw something come out the other end. We were happy when this finally happened, especially when we saw that the colour was green. Green indicates that she has had no food for quite a while, but is better than black. Black means that there is blood, usually because the internal organs have already started to break down from starvation. Sadly, Petite’s third pooh was very dark, indicating blood. That’s not good news for the wee girl. Keep your fingers crossed for her…



Well, there isn’t much news on Day Two. It’s up and down. Petite is still alive, which is a good thing. And her digestive system is working, which is also good. Some of her poohs are looking nearly white and normal, which is good, but occasionally there will be a dark bloody one, which is bad. It means some part of her internally is bleeding or disintegrating. She is fairly listless, which isn’t great. But her weight has increased slightly, which is good. So…. we still have to wait and see. We’ll continue to feed her regularly (see second photo) and give her every chance. In the meantime at least she’s safe, hydrated, fed, warm, and loved. It’s the best we can do, the rest will depend on how far her body had shut down before she was found. She’s such a sweetie, we’ll just keep hoping for the best!

miss piggy


March 22, 2015

You can see by the size of the slipper, that this little piggy is a real baby. Sadly, her mum was killed by hunters, but she was brought home… and thank goodness a very kind couple offered to take the baby in to care for her temporarily. Miss Piggy is a real sweetheart, playful and loving, and already house trained (!), but needs a safe permanent home. The only people who’ve expressed an interest in adopting her so far are people who want to use her to train pig dogs, or plan to eat her eventually. Her fosterer, Ross, refuses to let that happen. He says “We can’t keep her here, but we already love her and want to find her a safe forever home.” Can you help? Miss Piggy is currently near Whakatane, and a local home would be ideal… but Ross is so committed to finding a great home for this wee darling that he’ll even bring her all the way to Auckland for the right family. If you have room in your heart and your land for a forever pet pig, please contact Ross directly on 027-500-2875 or 07-308-4886 or (Ideally you’ll have another pig for company, or are willing to adopt a second pig, as they’re very social animals. It’s not necessary if there’s another animal to keep her company, but a second pig would be ideal). Thanks, Shawn



We truly enjoyed having a good number of our Sanctuary Supporters visit on Sunday for a tour, picnic and live music. It was wonderful to meet so many of our Supporters in person. Most had never been here before, so it was a treat to be able to show them around and introduce them to the animals. The weather started off a bit dark and gloomy with spots of rain, so we moved the whole gig indoors. The band put away their PA system and played “unplugged”. But during the tour the sky brightened, the sun came out, and the picnic was outdoors in the sun after all! Perfect. Special thanks to our Supporters who made the trip up; to my husband Michael and wwoofers Barbara & Riccardo, who spent many hours spiffing up, mowing lawns, cleaning windows etc (there’s nothing like visitors to bring on a good spring clean!); to Dayna & Quinten for baking heaps of scrumptious cruelty-free cakes and cupcakes; to Kirsty & Kris for all their help before, during and after. And especially to the wonderful blue grass band, The Pipi Pickers, who provided such fabulous music for our event. Much appreciated, everyone!!



March 20, 2015

Today (Saturday) we’re holding our annual picnic with live music for our supporters. At 11am there are tours for people who haven’t been here before, to meet the animals and learn more about the sanctuary. At noon my favourite bluegrass band, The Pipi Pickers, will entertain our guests while they enjoy their cruelty-free picnics on the lawn. Cold drinks and delicious desserts will be provided by us. We have lots of free animal books for the children to choose from. We limit numbers to keep the animals from being stressed… but had a few last minute cancellations last night, so if you missed out and would like to attend today, give me a call on 09-422-7322. And keep your fingers crossed that the weather guys have it right, and we’ll have a pleasant dry day!! Cheers, Shawn



I couldn’t be happier. The second cat that was separated from it’s family and living wild for the past 2 months has been captured. She’s had a huge feed, a nice dry sleep (I’m so glad she was caught before this awful rain started), and enjoyed lots of cuddles. Queenie has now gone to a local relative, and will be sent on her long journey to her family on Monday. LOL, pet transport must be wondering why they’re suddenly so busy bringing cats south, but we know it’s so they can all be happily reunited. I want to thank Ahnya, who allowed us to put a live-catch possum trap on her land, and kept an eye on it to notify us when each cat was caught. We really appreciated her support with this rescue! Another happy ending. Ahhhh.



March 19, 2015

We picked up Harold on Wednesday night, and brought him back to the animal sanctuary. Yesterday was the big day, when he would finally meet his blind bride, Amelia Earhart. First there were some wedding preparations to be completed. The Bridesmaids (from left to right: volunteers Ami and Sue, and wwoofer Barbara) cleaned and installed a ‘honeymoon pond’. We were quite nervous about introducing Harold to Amelia. It was an arranged marriage, after all! (see below for Part 2)