New Zealand Town Builds Penguin Tunnel

January 16, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. steer / stɪər / (v.) – to guide or direct the movement of something or someone
Example: The zookeepers tried to steer the angry lion away from visitors.

2. conceptualize / kənˈsɛp tʃu əˌlaɪz / (v.) – to come up with a concept or idea
Example: The team has already started conceptualizing plans for the event.

3. come through / kuhm θru / (idiom) – to accomplish something
Example: The project would not have come through without your help.

4. body / ˈbɒd I / (n.) – a group of people working on the same project or job
Example: The principal addressed the student body during his speech. 

5. suit / sut / (v.) – to give what is wanted or required
Example The expansion of the bridge suited the town’s needs.


Read the text below.
A town in New Zealand has built its first ever tunnel for Korora, or little blue penguins.

Korora hunt for fish at sea, but care for their young on land. To get back to their nests after hunting, adult Korora have to cross the town’s busy road. Despite efforts to steer the penguins from walking into incoming traffic, the penguins still take the same route across the road.

To help the Korora commute safely between their nests and the sea, the town of Oamaru Harbor [aw-WAW-mah-roo HAHR-ber] built a tunnel below the road. The tunnel will also protect the Korora from tourists who disturb the penguins’ natural behavior with their camera flashes.

It was conceptualized by Philippa Agnew / ˈæg nu /, a marine biologist from Oamarus Blue Penguin Colony. Construction was completed in September and took three weeks to finish. The project came through with the efforts of the town council, local tourism body, and several companies that donated materials and provided people for labor.

While the penguin tunnel is a first for New Zealand, other passageways for animals have already been built around the world. These passageways are typically constructed above or below roads, and are sometimes built with soil and vegetation to suit a variety of animals. One example is the Wildlife Overpass in Alberta, Canada. Since 1996, several animals, including bears and elks, have been sighted using the overpass.

Another passageway built for animals is the unique overpass in Christmas Island, Australia. The overpass, built over a busy road, allows the safe passage of red crabs. In addition to the overpass, authorities also built several underpasses to divert the crabs away from the road.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that animal passageways can effectively protect animals from road hazards? Why or why not?
·         Do you believe that it is okay to build structures near animal habitats if the said structures can protect the animals? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Which is more important: industrialization or protecting animals? Discuss.
·         How can humans create a balance between development and protecting animals? Give examples to support your answer. 

January 16, 2017