Little blue penguins: underpass built for world’s smallest penguins to cross NZ road – TomoNews
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OAMARU, NEW ZEALAND — Little blue penguins crossing man-made roads often get killed doing so. Now, an underpass in a small town has been constructed to allow the penguins a stress-free passageway.
The world’s smallest penguins, the blue-feathered kororās live across New Zealand’s North and South Island coastlines, as well as across the southern coast of Australia. By the water, they typically forage for food, which they then must transport back to their nests for their baby chicks to eat. The penguins only come ashore after dark, but humans have made the trip a dangerous one, with cars being a nightly threat. The penguins in Oamaru are regularly observed making the trek across the coastal road, and cars are often held up while hundreds of the flightless birds pass.
To remedy the situation, the town council, tourism board and several local businesses came together to build the penguins an underpass — a tunnel stretching from the harbor all the way to their colony. The project was completed in September, and now, tourists and bird enthusiasts are flocking to watch them scurry across.