Number 337′s escape was no easy feat: The penguin (whose gender had not yet been discerned due to its age) had scaled a 13-foot rock face, made its way through barbed wire and slipped through a fence. He had been seen “frolicking” in Tokyo Bay and most likely survived eating small fish. The Japanese Coast Guard and aquarium staff had made a number of attempts to recapture the penguin. Earlier this month, two boats staffed by ten officers had trailed the penguin but not been able to catch it.
Humboldt penguins’ native habitat is in South America, on the rocky coasts of Peru and Chile.
The penguin is now undergoing medical tests at the aquarium while staff reinforce its facilities, to ensure no more breakouts.
Will penguin number 337 settle back into life in the aquatic park after so many weeks out on its own? Despite the efforts of the staff, anyone get the feeling the penguin might be game to make another flight for freedom?
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Photo by Alaina Abplanalp Photography