Charlotte The Penguin Is Swimming

The Penguin Post has learned from Charlotte’s trainer that she has now taken to the water, one flipper at a time.  Here’s what we heard direct from the aquarium.
Eric,  You will be pleased to know that Charlotte is now quite integrated with the group and swims most days, and although not a Mark Spitz yet, she is doing very well.
Thanks
Simon Blackwell

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In case you weren’t following the plight of Charlotte.  The 10-month-old king penguin was so “panicked” by the water at Bourton-on-the-Water’s Birdland in the U.K. that keepers had to give it a month of swimming lessons.

The hand-reared chick was carried across to a rock in the middle of the penguin pool and encouraged to leap in. Keeper Alistair Keen, said the chick was “absolutely terrified” initially but was slowly becoming more confident. The king penguin chick, named Charlotte, is the first of its kind to be born at Birdland since 2009. Hand-reared by head keeper Mr Keen, it was introduced back to the colony a few months ago but after slipping and falling into the penguin pool, the chick developed a phobia of water.

“Initially Charlotte was absolutely terrified at the prospect of getting her feathers wet,” said Mr Keen. “I know penguins can’t fly but she was making a pretty good attempt in her bid to avoid taking the plunge.  “In the wild the chicks only learn to swim by following their parents in to the water so I, as her adopted dad, felt obliged to get in and try and show her how it was done.”

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Wearing a wetsuit, snorkel and mask, Mr Keen spent a month in the penguin pool giving the young chick daily one-on-one swimming lessons. “At first it didn’t seem like she was ever going to get the hang of it,” he said. “But now, although I certainly wouldn’t say that she’s taken to it like a duck to water, she is gradually getting more and more comfortable in the pool.”


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