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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Leaping fish bombard family boat

A video featuring scores of Asian carp jumping out of a river and bombarding a boat in the US has gone viral on YouTube.

The 70-second clip shows a family travelling down the Spoon River in Illinois which is heavily populated by the fish.

Asian carp have a fear of boats, and are blessed with an amazing jumping ability, reports Newslite.

So when a boat passes over them, the 5-10lb fish leap up to two metres from the water en masse.

The video has notched up nearly 430,000 hits on the video sharing website.

The un-named camera man posted: "My brother, nephews and a friend go "fishing" down a small drainage ditch in the flooded Spoon River.

"The funniest part, is that Matthew, my youngest nephew, is curled up in the fetal position in the front of the boat the entire time, and you never see him!"

Police sniffer vultures plan a 'disaster'

Police chiefs are to scrap a plan to use vultures to replace sniffer dogs after it turned out to be a miserable failure.

Police in Germany imported the birds from Carinthia, Austria, in the hope their amazing eyesight, fantastic sense of smell and ability to find dead prey would help them to find missing bodies.

But the three birds - named Sherlock, Miss Marples and Columbo - have failed to find a single cadaver laid out in the wild for them - unless put in front of their beaks.

And one refuses to fly at all. Sherlock walks around at a speed similar to a waddling duck making him far less efficient than the average sniffer dog.

In addition the other two birds - Miss Marple and Columbo - spend most of their time fighting.

An insider working with the project at Walsrode in Lower Saxony, Germany, confirmed: "The project has been a disaster."

Early trials with the birds - which have a five foot wingspan - had already ruffled feathers with fans of more traditional methods.

"Everyone knows what vultures do when they find a body and they're not going to be as easy to call off as a Labrador. You could find half the evidence disappearing down their beaks," said one.

When contacted this week for a comment project creator Hermann Meyer said that the vultures were temporarily no longer available for journalistic access.

Trainer German Alonso admitted: "They don't seem to be able to do anything other than attack each other."

And he admitted they had done more research on the birds that indicated they might not have been the best choice.

He said: "It seems they are rather cowardly birds - they would rather hide in the woods than be out and about in the open."

Britain's tiniest sheep dog

A trainer at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has revealed that her tiny chihuahua has a natural talent for herding sheep.

A video, uploaded to YouTube, shows 2.5lb Nancy making quick work of showing five sheep who is boss, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Owner Ali Taylor, who trains rescued border collies at Battersea, said the dog was always interested in watching border collies herd sheep.

"One day I decided to give her a whirl in the ring and she picked it up straight away," she said.

"I started in a very controlled environment but it quickly became evident that Nancy has natural ability and loves herding sheep."

The Chihuahua was taken to the rescue centre at just three weeks old with severe skin disease and had to be hand-reared.

Ms Taylor added: "People sometimes under-estimate rescue dogs, but they really are fantastic, and go on to do amazing things."

The charity stresses that no-one should try sheep herding without expert supervision.

Row over BO11 LUX number plate

The DVLA have ordered a motorist to remove his cheeky 'BO11 LUX' car registration plate - which they sold to him six weeks ago.

Alan Clarke, 49, from Chesterfield, paid £399 for the plate via the Government agency's website and put it on his Range Rover.

But he has now received a letter from the DVLA demanding its removal as it was "causing offence", reports the Mirror.

Mr Clarke, a company director, has been told he could face a fine of up to £1,000 but insists: "I'm not backing down.

"It's my plate and I'm not taking it off. They said it was causing offence and I had to remove it, and they are threatening to criminalise me.

"But they are a Government agency and put the plate on their own website. I saw it there and thought it would be fun to put it on my new car.

"Everyone laughs when they see it. They sent me a normal plate to put on but I sent it back. They've still got similar plates on the site."

The DVLA said: "We try to identify combinations that may cause offence. When potentially offensive plates slip through the net, steps are taken to withdraw the registration number.

"This plate has been withdrawn, therefore it is an offence for the driver to still display it. He would receive a refund.

Tree of Life - All for a cause

ALL FOR A CAUSE: Around 2,000 students of Everwin Matriculation Higher Secondary School participate in a unique programme to create awareness on conservation and sustainable development on Tuesday .

Courtesy –TOI

World's first 'flying' motorbike!

World's first flying motorbike: Helicopter pilot invents the 'hoverbike' in his garage

Traffic jams could soon become a thing of the past thanks to an amateur inventor who has built the world's first flying motorcycle in his garage.

Australian Christopher Malloy ploughed his entire life-savings into the project which took him two and a half years to complete. His futuristic creation - dubbed the Hoverbike - can reach an altitude of 10,000ft and speeds of over 100mph.

Fans of the design have already compared Mr Malloy's work to the 'speeder bikes' from the Stars Wars sequel Return Of The Jedi or the hovering car from Back To The Future.

Futuristic: Helicopter pilot Chris Malloy tests his incredible contraption - the world's first flying motorcycle

Big screen: Luke Skywalker(Mark Hamill) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) battle a baddie on their speeder bike in Star Wars Return of the Jedi

The 32-year-old former helicopter pilot built the incredible machine in his Sydney garage using a custom-built carbon-fiber airframe and a BMW engine.

The futuristic prototype has the potential to travel up to 92 miles or for about 45 minutes on one tank of fuel and is expected to come with a hefty price tag of more than £45,000.

So far the bike, which weighs 270kgs, has only been tested while tethered to the ground to prevent it flying too high. But plans to test it's capabilities without any restrictions are set to go-ahead soon.

Mr Malloy explained: 'I am still ground testing at the moment only because I'm not 100 per cent sure what will happen so the straps are there to cover the unknown. I haven't had the pleasure of flying round the countryside yet.

'It is quite stable and doesn't want to tip over but if something unplanned happened during testing I wouldn't want to break the prototype.

'The Hoverbike was built with safety in mind so at least three components have to fail before you might have a serious airborne failure.

'There are also two explosive parachutes attached to the airframe and of course the rider could choose to wear their own parachute too.

Nice wheels: The Hoverbike is built from carbon fibre and can reach an altitude of 10,000ft and speeds of over 100mph

Flew beauty: The Australian inventor has ploughed his life-savings into the project

Mr Malloy is unwilling to reveal exactly how much he has spent on the project, but claims it is costing him roughly £140 a week.

He said the basic principle was similar to that of a Chinook helicopter and a normal motorbike.

He added: 'To lift off into a hover you just need to increase the thrust via a throttle grip with the right hand - exactly the same as the throttle on a motorbike.

'Flying forward involves a combination of an increase in thrust and the deflection of air from the front control vanes by twisting the left handle grip. You twist forward to accelerate and backwards to reverse.

Inspiration: the Hoverbike works along the same principle as Boeing's twin-propeller Chinook helicopter

Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads: The hovering car from the Back to the Future films

'To to make the bike turn left and right, all one needs to do is push the handle bars down on the side you wish to turn just like a bicycle.

'You could lean in the appropriate direction as you would on a motorbike but this isn't proving to be very sensitive.

'Having previous experience in a helicopter or plane would be a great help. That said, this is a new way to fly and one would need to learn to ride the hoverbike in much the same manner as a helicopter or riding a motorcycle.

'If you live in the USA or your country has similar civil aviation regulations, then the hoverbike will be classed as a 'ultralite' which means you do not need a pilot's license to fly it.'

Woman earns living by winning competitions

Is this Britain's luckiest woman? Former bank worker earns living by winning competitions

Liz Denial has scooped a 37-inch LCD TV, home cinema system, X-boxes and a five star holiday to Kenya

Lucky Liz claims to have won a prize every day since October

A woman who suffers from painful muscle condition and relies on a mobility car to get around has won hundreds of prizes after entering online competitions and completing crosswords.

Lucky Liz Denial, from Stapleford, Nottingham, has been able to kit out her home with prizes - which include a 37-inch LCD TV, a home cinema system, two X-boxes and hundreds of bottles of fancy toiletries and cleaning products.

The 51-year-old former bank worker has even bagged herself a five-star VIP holiday to Kenya.

Floored: Liz Denial, 51,from Stapleford, Notts, with some of the hundreds of prizes she has won after entering online competitions and crosswords

And she has been able to top-up her luxury lifestyle after pocketing £16,500 on TV show Deal or No Deal.

Liz, who was forced to give up her job after developing painful muscle condition fibromyalgia, has won a prize every single day since since last October.

Liz said: 'I rely on winning prizes because I don't have a job and my mobility car is very expensive to run.

'Sometimes I have to pinch myself, because I can't believe how lucky I am. Maybe it is karma because I suffer from a lot of pain because of my condition.

'Some of the prizes are small things, like shampoo and cleaning products, but I've also won a 37-inch LCD TV, a home cinema system, two X-Boxes and two iPods.

'I sell the prizes I won't use, like the X-boxes, to my friends.

Puzzler: Liz Denial with the strangest prize she has won, a life-size cardboard cut-out of Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington to promote Sky1's An Idiot Abroad

'When I won the trip to Kenya, I couldn't believe my luck - and I was even fortunate enough to bump into Dermot O'Leary and Olly Murs, who were taking part in a Red Nose Day climb of Mount Kilimanjaro.

'The wackiest prize I've won is definitely a life-size cardboard cut out of Ricky Gervais.

'When the postman delivered it, I didn't know what to do with it.

'Some of my prizes are very strange but others have made my life much easier and definitely more enjoyable.'

Liz met her best friend, Sandy Cox, from Cossall, after appearing on Deal or no Deal.

Sandy said: 'I enter competitions too but I'm nowhere near as lucky as Liz.

'I only won 10p on Deal or No Deal but Liz just keeps hitting the jackpot with everything she applies for.

'And she really deserves her prizes, she is a lovely woman.'

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Doctors to help boy with hairy face

Doctors in China have agreed to operate for free on an eight-year-old boy whose face is partly covered with thick black hair.

An Qi, of Dehui, Jilin Province, was born with a large birthmark on his face which sprouted hairs as he grew older.

He is being brought up by his grandparents after his father died when he was four and his mother remarried.

Grandfather Fan Jingzue said: "From being very young, he would try to cover his face with his hands all of the time.

"He would ask me to fix his face for him. He wouldn't go to nursery because the other kids would call him Monkey or Hairy Boy."

The Min Yi Plastic Surgery Hospital in Changchun has now agreed to waive the surgery fees for An Qi.

Hospital president Zheng Xiaoqin said it was an unusual case and the surgery would be carried out in stages.

"But when it's finished, An Qi will have a new face. You will hardly be able to see the scars," he said.

Shark jumps over surfer

An amazing video of a shark jumping over a surfer in Florida has become an online hit.

The video was shot by photographer Jacob Langston who inadvertently captured the action while filming surfers off New Smyrna Beach.

Mr Langston, who works for the Orlando Sentinel, said: "I didn't even see the shark jump. But a surfer came up to me and said, "Hey man, did you see that?""

When he got back to the office and started editing his footage for a multimedia piece for the newspaper he realised he had caught the moment.

"It seems like the rest of the multimedia piece will be anticlimactic after this," he joked.

Spinner sharks are common in the area and are not dangerous to humans.

A spokesman for the Florida Museum of Natural History explained: "They swim swiftly up in a vertical position to swallow their prey while they spin. Often their momentum causes them to exit the water."

Civil servant tried to eat evidence

A Russian civil servant was caught trying to eat a 35,000 ruble bribe to stop it being seized as evidence.

Anton Gritsay, 38, head of the Emergencies Ministry in Zelenograd, was tipped off that he was about to be arrested and locked himself into a toilet.

Police burst in and arrested him, but not before he had swallowed the money, the equivalent of about £800.

But he failed to escape justice after determined anti-corruption officers took him to the local hospital.

Once there, surgeons recovered seven of the notes from his stomach that were enough to see him taken to court.

The arrest was filmed by other officers and a police spokesman said: "We investigated after a complaint that he had been paid a bribe to overlook breaches in safety standards during a fire safety inspection."

Gritsay has pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe and was released on bail, and has been fired from his job.

Eating bribes has become a popular trend in Russia, leading to the league table that started in March 2010 when a policeman ate a 2,000 ruble bribe in the Chelyabinsk region.

Before Gritsay, the previous recordholder was another policeman from the Saratov region who swallowed 15,000 rubles in March 2011.

Soldiers told to stare at storks

Troops ordered to scare away storks from an airport have been banned from using their guns and told to stare at the birds instead.

Soldiers were brought in over fears the colony of 25 storks would disrupt the Airpower 2011 air show in Zeltweg, Austria, this weekend.

Organisers had tried to lure them away with bait, by creating better feeding grounds further away and even putting up plastic storks to make it seem more attractive elsewhere - but without success.

Experts, who fear a stork could bring down a plane if it was sucked into an engine, confirmed soldiers had been told not to shoot the birds but to stare at them instead.

And local environmentalist Siegfried Prinz, who is helping to organise the troops for "operation stork", confirmed it was no joke.

He said: "The troops have been observing the area and finding out where the storks seems to like to go to feed - they then turn up and engage them in eye contact."

"The policy is unsettling them and they have started to move away just in time. Being stared at actually intimidates the storks more than the sound of a gun or other explosive device."

A total of 24 soldiers are working on Operation Stork between 5am and 10pm.

Motorway pile-up with a difference

Police in China were stunned to see three vehicles were being driven on top of each other on a motorway.

They came across the bizarre sight at a service station in Ningbo in eastern China's Zhejiang Province.

Officer Zhou Yefei said: "A blue pickup truck was at the bottom, a white pickup truck was on top of that, then on top, a black SUV was in the back of the white pickup truck."

The driver, Li, said he had been instructed to drive the newly-manufactured vehicles to a salesroom in Ningbo.

He told police he had driven them like that for more than 600 miles to save time, fuel and motorway tolls.

Police fined him the equivalent of £200 and ordered him to drive the three vehicles one by one to their destination.

Paralysed cat takes swimming lessons

Somewhat strangely for a feline, Mog the cat - paralysed after being run over by a car - is learning to walk again by taking swimming lessons.

In February this year the grey tabby sustained injuries to his front legs after being knocked down in a hit-and-run incident

Remarkably the feline only suffered nerve damage in the accident but that was enough to leave his front legs completely paralysed.

But the one-year-old is learning to use them again in a hydrotherapy pool at Hawksland canine centre in St Issey, Cornwall.

According to owner Veronica Ashworth, ten weeks of £30 sessions have made a "vast improvement" to Mog's condition.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Yoda named the world's ugliest dog

A 14-year old Chinese-crested Chihuahau called Yoda has been named the World's Ugliest Dog title by judges in California.

Yoda's owner Terry Schumacher fled when she first encountered the little dog abandoned behind an apartment building in America, convinced it was a rat.

But on closer inspection, she realised the diminutive ball of hair and limbs was actually a dog, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Miss Schumacher took her home and named her new pet after the pint-sized crumpled-faced Jedi master from the Star Warsfilms, to whom the dog bears a striking canine resemblance.

And she hugged and kissed Yoda after she won the title as a first-time entrant in the 23-year-old show at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

A variety of other near-hairless, toothy and injured dogs were also put through their steps by their loving owners.

Other competitors included last year's winner, a one-eyed Chihuahua named Princess Abby, a blind 15-year-old pug called Hercules and a crowd favourite, Handsome Hector, whose owner has created a Facebook page and blog for the bald one-eyed mongrel's fans.

"Handsome Hector, aka Hecki, is, in his own opinion, devastatingly handsome," reads one proud entry.

Muslim girl, 19, 'stoned to death after taking part in beauty contest'

A teenage Muslim girl was stoned to death under 'Sharia law' after taking part in a beauty contest in Ukraine.

Katya Koren, 19, was found dead in a village in the Crimea region near her home.

Friends said she liked wearing fashionable clothes and had come seventh in a beauty contest.

Murdered: Katya Koren was attacked after taking part in a beauty contest which her friends said angered hardline Muslims

Her battered body was buried in a forest and was found a week after she disappeared.

Police have opened a murder investigation and are looking into claims that three Muslim youths killed her, claiming her death was justified under Islam.

One of the three - named as 16-year-old Bihal Gaziev - is under arrest and told police that Katya had 'violated the laws of Sharia'. Gaziev has said he has no regrets about her death.

Stoning is a divisive subject among Muslims, with some groups interpreting it as Islamic law and others disagreeing.

According to Amnesty International's annual report on death sentences worldwide, issued in April, there were no reports of judicial executions carried out by stoning in 2010.

Rural: Katya Koren lived in the Crimea region of the Ukraine where her body was found buried in woodland

However, new death sentences by stoning were reportedly imposed in Iran, the Bauchi state of Nigeria and Pakistan.

At least 10 women and four men remained under sentence of death by stoning at the end of the year in Iran, where adultery is the only crime which carries that penalty under Sharia law.

It was widely imposed as a sentence in the years following the 1979 Islamic revolution, and even though Iran's judiciary still regularly hands down such sentences, they are now often converted to other punishments.

The barbaric practice was thrown into the international spotlight last year when an Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery after suffering years of abuse at the hands of her drug addict husband.

Miss Ashtiani's lawyer said she was allegedly beaten and sold for sex by opium-addict Ebrahim Ghaderzade, who she is accused of killing.

She was jailed for ten years for murder and sentenced to death for adultery. She was also convicted of having illicit relations for which she received 99 lashes.

The Iranian authorities eventually suspended the stoning after an outcry from the international community.

The European Union has called the sentence 'barbaric', the Vatican pleaded for clemency and Brazil, which has tried to intervene in Iran's stand-off with the West over its nuclear programme, offered Miss Ashtiani asylum.

A number of celebrities, including Robert Redford, Robert De Niro and Sting called for her release in an open letter to the Iranian regime, backed by more than 80 actors, artists, musicians, academics and politicians.

International outcry: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was sentenced to death by stoning for adulter

When Carla Bruni, the French First Lady, prominently gave her support to the 43-year-old mother-of-two, Iran responded by launching two scathing attacks on Miss Bruni, branding her an adulteress with a 'vastly immoral lifestyle'.

Last week Amnesty international called for 'clarification' on the legal status of a jailed lawyer who represented Miss Ashtiani, Javid Houtan Kiyan.

It issued a statement that read: 'If – as appears - he is held solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression, including in connection with his work as a defence lawyer on behalf of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, he should be released immediately and unconditionally.

'The allegations that he has been tortured while in detention should be investigated immediately and anyone found responsible for abuses brought to justice.'

The Islamic republic says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order and is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.

Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are all punishable by death in Iran.

In March, Iran hanged a woman convicted of murdering a love rival.

Shahla Jahed, 40, had been a 'temporary wife' of Nasser Mohammad Khani, a former striker for the Iranian national football team.

The execution was thought to be the 146th so far this year. At least 270 people were executed in 2009.


China (1,000s)

Iran (252+)

North Korea (60+)

Yemen (53+)

Vietnam (46+)

United States of America (46)

Saudi Arabia, Singapore (27+)

Libya (18+)

Syria (17+)

Bangladesh (9+)

Somalia (8+)

Sudan (6+)

The Palestinian Authority (5)

Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Taiwan (4)

Belarus, Japan (2)

Iraq, Malaysia (1+)

Bahrain, Botswana (1)

Source: Amnesty International, Death Sentences and Executions 2010

Key: Where the '+' symbol is used, the figure is understood to be higher

The magician who can walk on water

The magician who can walk on water: Dynamo crosses the River Thames on foot - without using a bridge

Most magicians are capable of unbelievable feats, after all it's their stock in trade, but how many have unbelievable feet?

Dynamo, whose real name is Steve Frayne, has showed some rather nifty feet as he walked on water for his latest jaw-dropping stunt.

The Bradford-born illusionist, 28, made it half way across the stretch of the river in front of the Houses of Parliament in London before he was picked up by a River Police boat.

Biblical epic: Magician Dynamo poses while standing in the middle of the River Thames where he performed an illusion in which he appeared to walk on water

Tread carefully: Left, stunned onlookers watch from Westminster Bridge as Dynamo gets his feet wet and, right, he heads towards the Houses of Parliament

Stunned onlookers watched from Westminster Bridge as the magician recorded the stunt for his new TV show Dynamo: Magician Impossible.

Frayne has so far built his name on the celebrity circuit, astounding a host of famous names with his tricks.

Among those who will testify to his skills are the likes of Jay-Z, Coldplay, Will Smith, Busta Rhymes and Paris Hilton.

His previous tricks have included making Little Britain star Matt Lucas levitate before a live audience at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, and turning signed lottery tickets into cash in front of Robbie Williams and Davina McCall as part of BBC's Sport Relief live programme.

Various celebrities have taken part in his new series including heavyweight boxing champion David Haye, Manchester rocker Ian Brown and pop star Natalie Imbruglia.

In episode one, he performs his trademark levitation trick and physically moves a girl's tan line on the glamorous Miami Beach.

I hope he can swim: Frayne stands still in the middle of the fast-moving River Thames

The Arid Beauty Of Tharparkar

Tharparkar is an arid area of the Sindh Province. It compromises four administrative units: Deplo, Chahro, Mithi and Nagarparkar.

Tharparkar is a historic place with rich biodiversity. Cattle farming and agriculture are main sources of income for the Thari people. Various Hindu and Muslim communities live here, and their houses are made of clay and dry grass. These simple homes are called Chaunwra.

Thar is a place where water is considered as the most precious commodity. รข€“ Text and photographs by Hussain Afzal/Dawn

Teenage car thief takes flight

A teenage car thief lost control of a stolen vehicle - and sailed 300ft through the air off a mountainside onto the roof of a house.

The 16-year-old spent hours speeding around winding mountain roads in Walemsee, Switzerland, before taking one bend too quickly.

"He spun the car through a safety barrier and it flew 30 metres through the air before it landed on a roof garden below," said one police officer.

"But the momentum kept the car going and it bounced off that roof and fell another 70 metres until it finally came to rest on a house lower down the slope."

Astonishingly the dazed driver was unhurt in the crash and was caught trying to stagger away down the road suffering from shock.

Home-owner Thorsten Baumgartner, 48, said: "There was an enormous bang and the whole property shook.

"I thought at first it was an earthquake or that part of the hillside had collapsed on my property. I didn't expect to see a car on the roof when I went outside.

"I thought the person must be very badly injured inside but when I got there it was empty. I thought perhaps they had been thrown out of the vehicle but then I realised that they had obviously run-off. I'm amazed that they were unhurt."

Police say the 16-year-old schoolboy is being questioned in youth custody.

Theme park boss duped by Lego car

The boss of a Legoland theme park was stunned when staff swapped his car for one made of Lego.

Peter Ronchetti went to drive home in his real Volvo XC60 to find it had been replaced with a life-sized copy made from 201,076 of the toy bricks.

The prank was thought up by colleague Tim Petsche, who snuck away Ronchetti's keys and called in a forklift to move in the three-tonne model car.

Mr Ronchetti took the joke in his stride, playing around with the car and pretending to unlock it.

He said: "We have a very fun, creative team here at Legoland California and it really was the perfect prank. I can tell you that I won't leave my keys laying around ever again."

Beth Chee, spokeswoman for the park in Carlsbad, California, watched and photographed the prank, saying that Ronchetti thought it was "very funny".

Lonely, Lost Penguin Is Hospitalized

'Loneliest penguin in the world' falls ill after eating sand it thought was snow

It's just one calamity after another for this Emperor penguin.

After making a wrong turn in Antarctic waters and ending up in New Zealand, the ten-month-old bird has now been taken to hospital for eating sand that it confused with snow.

The penguin had been showing signs of distress as it waddled up and down Peka Peka Beach on the North Island of New Zealand.

Saviours: The Emperor penguin which came ashore at Pekapeka beach is treated by vet staff at a zoo in Wellington, New Zealand

Experts agreed that because it had never seen sand before, the penguin thought it was snow and began to eat it.

The theory was confirmed after the bird was X-rayed at Wellington Zoo.

It was given a flushing treatment to clean out the handfuls of sand that had built up in its body.

Emperor penguins, the largest of the species, normally feed on fish, krill, and squid.

Peter Simpson of New Zealand's Department of Conservation said the penguin probably started eating the sand to cool itself down - as the creatures normally do with snow if they get too hot.

Wrong turn: The Emperor penguin, nicknamed Happy Feet, got lost while swimming and ended up 4,000 miles away from its Antarctic home

Despite it being winter in New Zealand, the country is enjoying temperatures of up to 18C - too warm for a bird who is around 4,000 miles from its frozen Antarctic home.

Mr Simpson said: 'Temperature is a major issue for it. We need to monitor its well-being in these sorts of climates.'

Emperor penguins typically spend their entire lives in Antarctica. It has been 44 years since one was last spotted in New Zealand.

The penguin has also become lethargic and there are fears it might have picked up an infection.

Mr Simpson said: 'If we can nurse it back to health we might be able to reintroduce it to the sea in the hope it will swim back to Antarctica.'

Flying the penguin back home was not possible he said, because it is winter in Antarctica which means 24-hour darkness.

A long way from home: The Emperor penguin from the Antarctic was hospitalised after eating sand that it thought was snow on Peka Peka Beach, New Zealand

He added: 'We don't have facilities in New Zealand capable of providing the penguin with long-term accommodation, so we can only hope it will make its own way back if we are able to release it.'

A decision was expected to be made on whether an operation would be needed to clear the bird's throat, which appears to have a blockage.

Experts also believed that a large number of visitors going to Peka Peka Beach to look at the bird might have added to its distress.

Officials have now moved the penguin to Wellington Zoo so it can be better looked after.

Christine Wilton discovered the penguin while walking her dog and had nicknamed it Happy Feet.

She said: 'I'm so pleased it's going to be looked after. He needed to get off the beach. He did stand up this morning, but you could tell that he wasn't happy.'

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