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.
Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo Sea Life Park’
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.
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.
The Penguin Post has learned that the Japanese authorities looking for penguin #337 who escaped last month from aquarium which was his home have called off their month-long search, but say they hope still hope to eventually recover the penguin. Staff at Tokyo Sea Life Park said Thursday they are no longer combing riverbanks every day looking for any sign of the the penguin known only as penguin #337, which fled captivity in early March. “Although we believe the penguin is doing OK somewhere in a river near Tokyo Bay, we don’t know what else to do after nearly a month of searching,” the park’s Takashi Sugino told the Post. “Maybe it moved to an area far away from the park, in which case it’s hard for us to find as Tokyo Bay is rather big.” Keepers have asked birdwatchers for help in tracking down the escapee but despite an initial flurry of news, they have received no credible information for some time. “We hope to get fresh sightings in August, when the bird molts and its adult black-and-white feathers emerge because it will be easier for ordinary people to recognise it as a penguin,” he said. The hunt for the Humboldt penguin began after the one-year-old bird was snapped bathing in the mouth of a river. Keepers believe the two foot tall penguin made its break for freedom after scaling a rock twice its size, in an escape that has been compared with the exploits of animals in the animated hit film Madagascar.
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:
It seems obvious by now that regular meals and the companionship of scores of other penguins just weren’t enough. Penguin Number 337 ( it doesn’t have a real name) seems to have decided something was missing from life at a Tokyo aquarium when he (she) made a break for it last week. The one-year-old Humboldt penguin scaled a rock wall and squeezed through a fence during a daring bid for freedom, sparking a penguin-hunt that has included a city-wide alert for information on the tubby, flightless fugitive. Tokyo Sea Life Park, on the shores of Tokyo Bay, was alerted to the escape of the bird the other day, known only by its number 337, after receiving a photograph on Sunday that supposedly showed a penguin swimming in the bay. Kazuhiro Sakamoto, the park’s deputy director, thinks it may have been a simple case of happy feet. “The penguin hatched last year on January 27, so it is still a very young penguin,” Sakamoto said. “We think that because of its young age, it might have escaped due to its curiosity and yearning for adventure.” The bird, still too young for keepers to determine whether it was male or female, shared life at a rocky outdoor enclosure with a view of the sea with 135 other Humboldts (which accounts for why it never received a proper name), and a number of penguins of other breeds. Humboldts grow to 56-70 cm (22-28 inches) long and can weigh up to 5.9 kg (13 lbs). But breaking out of its enclosure would have been far from simple for a one year old penguin. “There’s a man-made rock wall that varies between 1.2 to 4 metres (4 to 13 ft) high. After somehow climbing over it and getting out, it appears the penguin then managed to squeeze through a gap in the outer fence,” Sakamoto said. Worried that the penguin might have strayed out to sea, keepers issued a Tokyo-wide call for tips on the feathered fugitive and are making regular patrols along the shoreline in front of the aquarium, staring out to sea with binoculars. Visitors said they were worried about the bird. The area around the aquarium, which sits where the Edo River empties into the bay, consists of high-rise apartment buildings, concrete, with a highway looping overhead. “The sea water around here is very dirty, so unless the penguin is returned to safety quickly it may die,” said Hiroki Kasai, a university student. Others felt it may have gone in search of more spacious living quarters, noting that the penguin enclosure was much more cramped than a penguin would find in its natural habitat. Sakamoto said the waters of the bay were full of fish so the penguin was unlikely to starve — but that it was also unlikely to head for Peru or Chile, the ancestral home of Humboldts. “It’s a type of penguin that tends to stay close to shore, but I also think it would not be able to cross all of that wide ocean.”