With only three penguins in her care, Rosalie feels like she’s on holiday. One penguin has returned after a month with a raging fungal throat infection that was not serious enough to be properly diagnosed the first time. Now that it is visible in its mouth and he will be treated with an antifungal medication. This time he will get better and stay well.
There is still plenty of other work to do around the reserve. A small flock of rams has been “hired” from a neighbour to nibble the long grass which could become a fire hazard later in the year. Fourteen years ago, a fire swept through Te Rere (a Forest & Bird reserve), and killed 60 yellow-eyed penguins. Te Rere was the largest colony of yellow-eyed penguins on the South Island, and it is still recovering.
Sheep will nibble on any tender green thing, including baby trees, and the rams are able to jump quite high. So yesterday we restored the electric fence to keep the rams out of the paddock where we planted native trees a year ago.
And then there was the discussion about whether or not the fence was really on once we got it connected…don’t worry, we aren’t that stupid.