The Penguin Post has learned that the penguin whose break-out from an aquarium in Japan gave him a following around the world is to be formally named after months of being known just by his number, an official said yesterday.
Posts Tagged ‘penguin #337’
The Penguin Post has learned that the plucky Penguin 337 that was recaptured last week after nearly three months on the lam in the polluted waters of Tokyo Bay has pinkeye, an aquarium official said Monday. The Humboldt penguin, one of 135 kept at Tokyo Sea Life Park, was taken back into captivity after 82 days of freedom following a breakout that made global headlines and garnered it a following around the world. On Friday, the day after its adventure came to an end, the bird “was diagnosed by a veterinarian as having conjunctivitis (pinkeye), so we have kept it in a room separate from the rest of our penguins,” said aquarium official Takashi Sugino. Fans of the 1-year-old runaway — known by the aquarium only as Penguin No. 337 and lacking any sexual features due to its age — will have to wait until it has recovered from the condition, before it is back in public view. “At first its eyes seemed to be swelling a bit, but now it’s recuperating, as we’ve been giving it eyedrops every day,” Sugino said. “I don’t know the exact reason for its eye disease, but in this aquarium the seawater pumped up for penguins is filtered and disinfected,” he added. A government official said the water quality in Tokyo Bay has improved in recent years, but pollution by organic substances sometimes breaches environmental thresholds.
The Penguin Post has learned that Penguin 337 on the run from a Tokyo aquarium since early March was adjusting to life back on the inside Friday after being recaptured on a riverbank. The Humboldt penguin, one of 135 kept at Tokyo Sea Life Park, was recaptured after 82 days of freedom that had even seen it outwit Japan’s well-resourced coastguard. The bird’s last moments of liberty were lived on a riverbank just five miles from its home, said aquarium spokesman Takashi Sugino. Prompted by a stream of sighting reports, staff rushed to the Edo-gawa river, where the young bird was idling away a balmy Thursday afternoon, seemingly unaware that its adventure was coming to an end. As its captors approached, the penguin dived into the water and emerged onto the opposite river bank about an hour later. Undeterred, the determined aquarium staff tried again, this time approaching the startled bird slowly — taking some 20 minutes to close in the final 16 feet — before jumping on it. The one-year-old bird, known only as Penguin No. 337 as it is not yet old enough to display physical sexual features, rushed into the water in surprise, but was subdued and taken back into custody. “It was captured safely,” the aquarium said in a statement. “It does not appear to have any injury and it seems to be in good health.” The penguin is now undergoing through medical checks and will be quarantined for possible infections before rejoining the rest of the flock, Sugino said. More than 30 sightings of the two-foot penguin had been reported to Tokyo Sea Life Park since it fled. The bird had been spotted swimming in various locations around Tokyo Bay but was difficult to catch. Even Japan’s coastguard were caught flat-footed by the escapee. On May 7, two boats with 10 officers on board followed the bird for about an hour before it disappeared from view. The hunt for the bird, which the aquarium said did not have a name, began in early March after it was spotted bathing in a river that runs into Tokyo Bay. Keepers believe the penguin made its break for freedom after being startled into climbing over a rock twice its size. In a bid to curtail any future breakouts, the facility has now put additional rocks and sandbags around the edges of the penguin enclosure.
This just in to the Penguin Post. The one-year-old Humboldt penguin known to the world as Penguin 337 that has captivated the worlds imagination after improbably escaping from Tokyo Sea Life Park in early March, and has outwitted the Japanese coastguard and other search parties ever since, has been recaptured after 82 days on the run (waddle). The awol 2ft-tall juvenile Humboldt, which was one of 135 penguins who reside at the park, was re-captured by an aquarium employee patrolling a stretch of the Edogawa River in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture. The yet unnamed zoo official spotted the penguin, which was not in the water at the time, and caught it by hand at around 5:30 p.m. The capture was about five miles from Tokyo Sea Life Park. “We’re relieved to see the penguin come back alive,” said Kazuhiro Sakamoto, the vice head of the aquarium. “It apparently had no health problems.” There had been more than 30 sightings of Penguin Number 337 reported to the zoo since it escaped, and all the sightings had been local so officials knew it was still in the area of Tokyo Bay, but it had proved to be an elusive little fugitive. That is until now. It may be a little early in this developing story, but it seems to us that this penguin may have surrendered rather than was captured. More details as they become available.
Reprinted from an editorial from The Guardian in the U.K.
It’s always splendid to see the small grab big attention, and – a mere 60cm tall, too little even to be deemed a boy or girl – Penguin 337 has certainly done that. The bird’s great break from Tokyo Sea Life Park triggered wildly hopeful sightings right across Japan, some hundreds of miles away. His (or is that her?) confirmed discovery swimming serenely in nearby Tokyo bay was less dramatic, but established that this was one unflappable bird. Scaling the park’s 12-foot walls on flippers was no mean feat, but then 337′s Humboldt species is reliably game. These little Latin Americans look like classically cute waddlers in the Pingu mould, but are hardy and versatile. They can nest in the dry of the Atacama desert, and are – as BBC footage confirms – perfectly capable of skiing on sand, and indeed on the backs of sea lions. But they are vulnerable to warming seas. Let 337′s heartening dash for freedom serve as a reminder not to forget the soaring mercury.
Authorities seem to agree that Penguin Number 337 looks to be in good health. As reported in the Penguin Post the other day the young fugitive penguin, was filmed this month near Tokyo Rainbow Bridge, Reuters reported. It’s the first time it’s been spotted since escaping the Tokyo Aquarium this past March. “It doesn’t look like it has gotten thinner over the past two months, or been without food,” a zoo official told Reuters. “It doesn’t seem any weaker. So it looks as if it’s been living happily in the middle of Tokyo Bay.” Some people are worried about the 1-year-old bird being exposed to possible rising radiation, according to the report. But so far, it shows no sign of being affected.
The Penguin Post has recently learned that the Humboldt penguin known as 337, who escaped from its enclosure in Tokyo Sea Life Park after climbing a four meter (13 feet) high rock face barrier and skirting a barbed wire fence two months ago, was spotted in Tokyo Bay as seen in this photo taken May 7 and released by Tokyo Coast Guard Office in Tokyo May 16. The fugitive penguin who had not been seen in about 7 weeks was spotted by a Tokyo Coast Guard patrol boat and a rescue craft which monitored Penguin 337, for about an hour in Tokyo Bay, however the capture attempt ended in vain, and eventually the boats broke off contact with the penguin according to the Tokyo Coast Guard Office.
This revealing video of a blatant case of penguin bullying is just in from the Tokyo Sea Life Aquarium, and may be the answer to why penguin #337 made a mad dash to freedom from the Japanese complex two weeks ago, and has since evaded all attempts by authorities to bring him back. Could it be that this sort of bullying is typical at the aquarium? Could interactions of this sort drove the desperate one year old Humboldt to flee? Is the Aquarium covering up for these bullying penguins? The Penguin Post thinks there may be more to this story than simply a penguin that ran away from home.
The Penguin Post has learned that the dragnet for the runaway Japanese penguin #337 has widened as officials have asked birdwatchers on Tokyo’s rivers for help in tracking down the escapee, five days after it broke out of the aquarium. Staff at Tokyo Sea Life Park said they believed the penguin was alive and well and somewhere in the Japanese capital coastal water after receiving reports the bird had been spotted successfully fed itself. “We haven’t given up hope,” Satoshi Toda of the Sea Life Park said yesterday “We have received information that indicates the penguin caught some fish and ate them, so we are hopeful that the bird is still alive. Our head penguin keeper has asked local birdwatchers to keep their eyes peeled in an area a bit wider than the neighborhood of our park,” he said, referring to two rivers that flank the Old Edogawa river. Of course not just bird watchers, but any and all citizens have been asked to be on the lookout for the fugitive penguin. More details to follow.
The Penguin Post has learned that the young Humboldt Penguin known as “Penguin 337″ who made a daring escape from the Tokyo Sea Life Park this past week, scaling a 17 foot rock wall and then through the perimeter fence may be swimming free for quite some time. The awol penguin is a one-year old bird, and according to zoo officials mature enough to survive on its own in Tokyo Bay, but given that the waterways near the Sea Life Park are quite busy with shipping traffic, these same officials are hopeful that the penguin will be recovered before it falls into harm’s way. Fortunately for rescuers, Humboldt penguins tend to stay relatively close to shore in the wild, so it is not too likely 337 will attempt to head further out to sea. Still, if history is any indication here and 337 remains at large, wayward penguins have often survived for long periods of time after being intentionally or unintentionally released in the wild outside of their native habitats. So, if Penguin 337 can steer clear of predators and boat propellers, it should find plenty to eat in the area, and with luck will eventually be returned to the zoo by authorities with plenty of stories to tell his buddies back at the Tokyo Sea Life Park. Check out this video that accompanies the story at MSNBC: