News24

Search for 'happy feet' penguin widened

2012-03-09 12:13

Tokyo - Keepers looking for a runaway Japanese penguin widened their search on Friday, asking birdwatchers on Tokyo's rivers for help in tracking down the escapee, five days after it broke out of an aquarium.

Staff at Tokyo Sea Life Park said they believed the penguin was alive and well and somewhere in the Japanese capital after receiving reports it had successfully fed itself.

"We haven't given up hope," Satoshi Toda of the park said.

"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 penguin keeper has asked birdwatchers to keep their eyes peeled in an area a bit wider than the neighbourhood of our park," he said, referring to two rivers that flank the Old Edogawa river.

The hunt for the Humboldt penguin began after the one-year-old bird was spotted bathing in the mouth of the river, which runs into Tokyo Bay, at the weekend.

Keepers believe the 60cm bird made its break for freedom after being startled into climbing over a rock twice its size, in an escape that has been compared with the exploits of animals in the animated hit film Madagascar.