Season’s penguin march begins at Asahiyama Zoo

Kyodo

The popular march of the penguins attraction began at Asahiyama Zoo in Hokkaido over the weekend.

Visitors were delighted when the gate to the penguin pen opened, and 15 king penguins and two gentoos poured out onto a snowy field and covered the 500 meters to their feeding ground in about 40 minutes.

Some slid on their bellies.

“The penguins were very cute when they wobbled and flapped their wings,” said Kiyoko Sugiyama, a 59-year-old children’s nursery staffer from Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture.

The winter event mimics the birds’ behavior in the wild, in which they walk in groups to the sea to catch their food, according to the zoo.

The walk also helps improve their health ahead of the spring mating season, the zoo said.

The zoo plans to continue the event till about mid-March, when the snow disappears.