In recent years, there was a movie called "Happy Feet" that chronicled the story of a penguin who got separated from the rest of its family and group, and got moved to a enclosure far away. The movie was fairly popular and increased the awareness of penguins to a large degree (increasing the concept of them being seen as cuddly and fun creatures).
So, it became international headlines when an Emperor Penguin was found on the beach outside the New Zealand capital Wellington, at a distance of 3000 km from the traditional location. Medical observation showed that the penguin was weak, and was eating sand and sticks in order to cool down (which was making the penguin even weaker). The penguin became the center of attention, and was eagerly watched by people all over (link to article):
Fattened up on a diet of "fish milkshakes" and escorted by his own personal veterinary team, the world's most famous penguin, Happy Feet, sets sail on Monday for the icy waters he calls home. The emperor penguin washed up on a beach just outside the New Zealand capital Wellington in mid-June -- weak, emaciated and more than 3,000 kilometres (1,900 miles) from theFinally, after some treatment, the penguin was taken in a ship and released back in the water near the penguin colony.
Antarctic colony where he hatched about three-and-a-half years ago.
The wayward bird's unexpected appearance stunned wildlife experts, who said he was only the second emperor ever recorded in New Zealand, and captivated the public, which closely followed every turn in his struggle for survival. "The level of interest has been incredible, not
just in Wellington or New Zealand, but around the world," Wellington Zoo's veterinary manager Lisa Argilla said. "Everyone's been really curious to see what happens."