After 82 days of freedom, Penguin Number 337 is finally back in captivity.
The 1-year-old Humboldt penguin caused a media sensation after going missing from the Tokyo Sea Life Park in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward on March 4.
In a daring escape that seemed to be taken straight out of the movie "Madagascar," the bird was believed to have climbed a 1.5-meter-high artificial rock and squeezed through a gap in a fence.
Despite about 50 sightings in and around Tokyo Bay, the young bird managed to elude its keepers for two and a half months but was finally tracked down when a member of the public reported a penguin near the Gyotokubashi bridge in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, at about 11 a.m. on May 24.
Penguin Number 337 was identified by a yellow tag on its right wing and two keepers were dispatched. At around 5:30 p.m., more than six hours after the first report, the bird was finally manhandled back into zoo life after stepping onto the riverside.
That evening, the fugitive was shown to the media and appeared unbowed by the experience. The bird, still too young for keepers to determine whether it is male or female, had no noticeable injuries and looked well nourished, energetically bobbing its head and gazing around as the cameras flashed. A vet was due to give it a full checkup on May 25.
“I am very relieved,” said Kazuhiro Sakamoto, the park's deputy director. “It feels unbelievable.”
- « Prev
- Next »