Tokyo aquarium’s penguin still at large, touring rivers

by Hiroko Nakata

Staff Writer

A year-old penguin that got away from a Tokyo aquarium remains at large and was last seen swimming in a river near the facility.

The 60 to 70 cm Humboldt penguin was one of 135 at Tokyo Sea Life Park along the shore of Tokyo Bay in Edogawa Ward.

The black and white bird was first spotted Saturday floating at the mouth of the Old Edogawa River. The head of a nearby bird park snapped a photo of the runaway and alerted Tokyo Sea Life Park at 11 a.m. Sunday.

A visitor subsequently took several shots of the swimming penguin at around 12:30 p.m.

“Since then, we don’t have any specific information about the penguin’s whereabouts,” said Takashi Sugino, an official of Tokyo Sea Life Park. Sugino said the aquarium is surrounded by a net 2 meters tall, which the penguin had no way to go over, but there are some gaps in the net that cats and frogs often pass through.

“The penguin may have slipped through under the net and escaped,” he said.

Tokyo Sea Life Park has put up posters inside the park and posted a notice on its website seeking tips from the public.

“In the event that you see a penguin on the loose, please let us know and don’t run after it or try to catch it,” the park said in the release.

The park can be reached at (03) 3869-5153.