New Zealand town finds a unique way to help penguins cross a busy street

June 6, 2017 6:43 pm Last Updated: June 6, 2017 6:43 pm

When penguins live in an urbanized area, simple things like feeding their chicks becomes a life or death situation. To help a waddle of little penguins, the world’s smallest penguins (‘Korora’ in the Maori language), a town in New Zealand built an underground passageway.

A busy road separates the ocean from the little penguins’ nests and every night, when the penguins venture back to their nests, they risk injury and death. In addition to dealing with traffic on the road, Dr Philippa Agnew, a Blue Penguin Colony research scientist, told the Timaru Herald that the penguins also have to face people who want to get a closer look at the world’s smallest penguins.

Who could resist taking lots of pictures and watching these little guys?

We have had between 105 and 199 blue penguins come ashore each evening viewing since the 21st of April!! 🐧It may be a…

Posted by Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony on Monday, May 15, 2017

The construction of the tunnel was only expected to take a week and researchers were optimistic that the penguins would have no issue with using their new passageway to and from the ocean.

And they were right!

Once the tunnel was complete, the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony set up a few cameras to watch how the penguins reacted to the new tunnel and added a light at the end so the penguins knew where to go. One by one, the penguins waddled into the tunnel and emerged safely on the other side of the road.

Blue Penguin Underpass, Oamaru

The blue penguins are happily taking to their new underpass – the first of its kind in New Zealand! This underpass helps provide safe passage for the penguins from the harbour to their nests across the busy road. To monitor the use of the passage, we set up a few cameras. With a little light at the end of the tunnel to guide the way, the little blues just waddle on through! #penguins #LittleBluesInOamaru #OBPC #wildlife #WaitakiNZ

Posted by Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony on Thursday, November 3, 2016

Look whose evening commute just got a lot safer.

Blue Penguin Underpass Oamaru – Take 2

Let our feathered little friends help you through those back to work blues…The penguin underpass works a treat! #OBPC #penguins #LittleBluesInOamaru #wildlife #WaitakiNZ #NZMustDo

Posted by Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony on Sunday, January 8, 2017

(H/T: Independent)