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New Zealand's 'Happy Feet' penguin starts journey home

The stranded New Zealand penguin, known to the world as 'Happy Feet,' is finally on his way home to cooler waters.

August 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
"Happy Feet" is finally on his way home to cooler waters.

The popular penguin has started his journey from a New Zealand zoo to a research ship that will release him into the wild after four days at sea.

He even has his own custom-made crate and will be kept cool with 60 buckets of ice.

The wayward emperor penguin gained popularity when he was found on a New Zealand beach on June 20.

He was moved to the zoo after he became ill from eating sand that he likely mistook for snow. He's since regained weight and been cleared to be returned to the wild.

More than 1,700 people gathered at the zoo Sunday to say a final goodbye to Happy Feet.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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