New Zealand Emperor Penguin

Penguin Has Questionable Sense of Direction, But Great Sense of Adventure

Jun 21, 2011

Experts say this penguin took a wrong turn and just kept going. I think this little guy simply had a hungry heart.

Penguin Penguin Has Questionable Sense of Direction, But Great Sense of Adventure

Everyone gets lost from time to time, whether it’s because you missed an exit on the highway, MapQuest gave bizarre directions, or your Garmin told you to turn left into a lake. It happens to the best of us—even penguins.

A 10-month-old Emperor penguin recently wandered onto the shore in New Zealand, roughly 2,000 miles from his home in Antarctica. Experts say he made the all-too-common mistake of making a left-wing-turn instead of right while hunting for squid or krill. Penguins have been known to stay out at sea for months, stopping at the shore only to rest or molt.

It is assumed that this world-traveling aquatic bird stopped at New Zealand for a breather before heading back to Antarctica. This was the first time an Emperor penguin has been spotted on the New Zealand shores in 44 years.

I think it’s a little presumptuous of these “so called” experts to believe that this was a mistake in direction by this adventurous penguin. I have no scientific background and I’m as much of a marine biologist as George Costanza, but I think our friend would have realized he was going the wrong direction after the first thousand miles.

Nevertheless he didn’t stop and make a u-turn or question his decision to turn left instead of right. He embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. Maybe his girlfriend just broke up with him, or he needed some peace and quiet to work on his writing. Maybe he saw how much fun those animated penguins were having in “Madagascar.” Maybe he’s simply a big “Lord of the Rings” fan.

Just because he skipped the Morgan Freeman-narrated march to find his soulmate in favor of a spontaneous jaunt to visit the Kiwis doesn’t exactly mean he was lost. The Associated Press reports that the penguin appears to be in good shape and officials in New Zealand hope “nature takes its course.”

I hope he enjoyed his vacation and he returns to Antarctica refreshed and as cultured as a college student returning from a semester abroad.

[AP ]

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