The Tokyo Sea Life Park announced this morning that a 1-year-old Humboldt penguin is on the run after escaping Sunday morning.
Hopefully it won’t get lost and end up 2,000 miles from home, as Care2′s Kristina Chew reported about an emperor penguin last summer.
How did this one escape?
It seems it scaled a sheer rock face twice its two-foot-tall size. “Sometimes wildlife have an ‘explosive’ power when frightened by something. Maybe it ran up the rock after being surprised,” zoo official Takashi Sugino told the AFP.
Tokyo Sea Life Park has 135 penguins, so no one noticed this daring jailbreak at first, until a director of a neighboring zoo spotted the runaway floating down the Old Edogawa River, which runs into Tokyo Bay. The official emailed photographic proof to the park keepers.
I wonder if this penguin was inspired by Madagascar, the computer animated movie, in which penguins are among the creatures who mount an escape as they are being transported? Or did the makers of the film take their inspiration from the behavior of real-life penguins?
And now the hunt is on!
Regardless, the penguin on the lam has spurred a hunt so large that the zoo is now appealing for the public’s help in tracking down the bird, though they caution against attempting to wrangle it. “We apologize for causing trouble to local residents. Although the penguin will unlikely harm human beings, please contact our aquarium if you spot it, without trying to capture or chase it,” a notice posted at the zoo read.
After all, the penguin might be rather slippery. “It’s a bit of a struggle to catch it when it is swimming, because it swims at a tremendous speed,” Sugino said. Instead, they are appealing for a different tactic. “We are hoping to catch it when it climbs up on land to sleep.”
Stay tuned for updates on this Humboldt penguin’s escape!
Photo Credit: Herr P.