Entries in Penguin (6)


Thieves Steal Penguin, Swim With Dolphins at Seaworld

ABC News (QUEENSLAND, Australia) -- The weekend may have been hazy for two Brits and an Aussie, but the trio woke up to a displaced penguin, a bad hangover and serious legal troubles.

The three drunk friends allegedly made a Queensland, Australia SeaWorld their personal playground, swimming with the dolphins, capturing their adventure on cell phone video and bragging about their exploits on Facebook.

On the way out, the trio decided to take a souvenir from their night at the water park. They scooped up a 7-year-old penguin named Dirk, who had never spent a night outside of captivity, officials for the water park said.

After waking up with a penguin guest, police said one of the men panicked and let Dirk go in a waterway known to have sharks. Witnesses who found Dirk said something chased him out of the water. On land, the frightened penguin was chased by a dog before witnesses came to his rescue.

“He was extremely disheveled, he was quite exhausted last night after we did catch him but … he’s settled down well,” Trevor Long, Sea World’s director of marine sciences, told reporters.

As for the three mates, ages 18, 20 and 21 who broke into the water park?

The men have a court date next month where they’ll have to answer to charges of trespassing, theft and unlawfully keeping a protected animal.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pippa Middleton Signs Deal for Party Planning Book

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- She stole the show at the royal party of the century, and now Pippa Middleton has signed on to tell the masses how to throw a party of their own worth stealing.

Middleton, 28, became a household name last April when she famously walked down the aisle of Westminster Abbey in a form-fitting dress as maid of honor in older sister Kate’s lavish wedding to Prince William.

Now the royal-in-law is back to capitalize on her party prowess with a new book that promises to help even commoners throw a party worthy of a royal.

The Daily Mail reports Middleton has struck a £400,000 ($622,000) deal with U.K. publisher Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin, to write How to Be the Perfect Party Hostess.

Plans are for a Christmas 2012 release, in part to avoid any conflict with the queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations next summer.

The how-to guide will reportedly include recipes, and personal pointers anecdotes from Middleton herself.

Besides her royal connections, Middleton is well steeped in party planning. She has professional party-planning experience with London-based Table Talk, and she comes from a family of party-planning experts.

Her parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, own the U.K. online party supply company Party Pieces, and Middleton contributes to the company’s Party Times online newsletter.

Middleton fans, eager for an early taste of her book, might want to look to her most recent Party Times article: 10 Tips for a Perfect Family Christmas.

In addition to her No. 1 tip that underlines the importance of “making a good first impression,” the royal-in-law’s suggestions range from the timeless -- baking holiday cookies and creating a Scandinavian gingerbread house -- to the modern, such as doing your Christmas shopping online.

“Have guests met by a beautiful red berry wreath and windows decorated with silver snowflake cutouts, reindeers and Christmas trees using snow spray,” she writes in the magazine’s November issue. "At this time of year, everything seems to gleam, so fill your house with lots of tiny lights, such as green Christmas fairy lights.”

Who the newly single Middleton will invite to her Christmas parties remains a mystery. The highly desired bachelorette split from Alex Loudon, her longtime beau and royal wedding escort, earlier this month.

She set British tabloids ablaze again when she was spotted with a mystery man last weekend watching the final of the ATP World Tour tennis tournament at the O2 in London.

They were joined by another male friend to watch a match between Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, reported the Daily Mail.

Copyright 2011 ABC News


‘Gay’ Penguins to Be Separated at Toronto Zoo

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(TORONTO) -- The amorous connection between two inseparable male penguins will soon come to an end when the Toronto Zoo pairs them with females.

“The males will be put in with a specific female so they have the chance to get to know one another and if they bond that’s what we’re looking for,” said Bill Rapley, the zoo’s executive director of conservation and wildlife.

Buddy, 21, and Pedro, 10, lived in a zoo in Toledo, Ohio, before traveling to Canada to become part of the Toronto Zoo’s first African penguin exhibit in 18 years.

Zookeepers quickly observed courtship and mating behaviors that are typically exhibited only between males and females.

“When you put things in captivity, odd things happen,” Kevin McGowan of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y., told ABC News.

“The way penguins work is they do get paired for a long time. Basically, the only other penguin they care about is their mate, so it’s important for them to find somebody who’s compatible, and if you don’t have a normal upbringing then it’s difficult to say how ‘normal’ they can be.”

Buddy and Pedro, who were both raised in captivity, pair together every night, “bray” at one another, groom each other, and never seem to tire of standing alongside each other, the Toronto Star reported.

But because the penguins have “top-notch genes,” zookeepers want them to breed with females to help populate the species, which is endangered.

According to the Toronto Zoo website, the African penguin population initially declined because their eggs had been overharvested, and many of their habitats had been disturbed. Today, oil pollution and a shrinking food supply exacerbated by commercial fishing are the major threats to their existence.

The zoo is now engaged in a species survival plan to help the species populate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Where Is Happy Feet? Contact Lost with Emperor Penguin

Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images(WELLINGTON, New Zealand) -- Happy Feet, the emperor penguin who was returned back to the Southern Ocean last week after washing up ashore on New Zealand's coast, is feared dead after its transmitter has ceased to return a signal.

The penguin was fitted with the GPS tracker before he was released on Sept. 4 so scientists and the public could follow along on its journey back to Antarctica.

Sirtrack, the company monitoring Happy Feet, said on Monday that no transmissions have been received since last Friday, which suggests that the device hasn't broken the surface of the water since that time.

"This leads to the conclusion that either the satellite transmitter has detached or an unknown event has prevented Happy Feet from resurfacing," the company said on its website.

Kevin Lay with Sirtrack told New Zealand's ONE News that although there's a possibility that the penguin has been eaten by a predator, that scenario isn't likely.

"There are some species that will forage on Emperor penguins.  It's not likely that it has happened to Happy Feet because of the area he was in," Lay said.

He went on to say that the company still "firmly" believes that the transmitter, which was glued on and was intended to fall off in a few months, became detached.

Lay also told ONE News that Happy Feet may have found a good source of food that has kept him underwater for a long period of time, blocking the tracker from sending a signal to the satellite.

Our Far South, one of the websites that has been tracking the penguin, wrote, "It will be at least a couple of days before we know for sure that the transmitter is no longer working.  Hopefully we'll be pleasantly surprised."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Happy Feet, Lost Emperor Penguin, Swims for Antarctic Home

Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images(WELLINGTON, New Zealand) -- Happy Feet, the emperor penguin who captured the hearts of millions around the world when it got lost 3,000 miles from its snowy Antarctica home, has successfully been returned to the sea, but not without some drama.

In a video showing his release Sunday, the bird -- nicknamed Happy Feet -- seemed reluctant to leave his crate aboard the research vessel Tangaroa.  Once he was in the water, the bird started swimming in the wrong direction.

The wayward penguin had been housed at the Wellington Zoo in New Zealand after he was found washed up on the nation's shores June 20.  He was moved to the zoo after he became sick from eating sand that zoo officials said he likely mistook for snow.  After life-saving surgeries, the bird left New Zealand with a crew aboard the Tangaroa on Aug. 29.

Choppy seas at the drop-off point in the Southern Ocean on Sunday would have made it too difficult to release him by hand, so a special slide was constructed.  But faced with the open ocean for the first time in months, the 3-foot tall, 3-year-old penguin didn't seem to know what to do.

"Happy Feet needed some gentle encouragement to leave the safety of his crate that has been his home for six days," Dr. Lisa Argilla, the zoo's manager of veterinary science, said in a posting on the zoo's blog Sunday.  "He slid down his specially designed penguin slide backwards but once he hit the water he spared no time in diving off away from the boat and all those 'aliens' who have been looking after him for so long."

"It's an indescribable feeling to see a patient finally set free.  It's definitely the best part of the job," she continued.

"He went onto his belly … unfortunately he went down the stern ramp backwards rather than forwards, so he wouldn't have got a perfect 10 for entry," added Dr. Richard O'Driscoll, the voyage leader.

Once he was in the water, Happy Feet was heading east, rather than south toward Antarctica.  But he corrected his course, and was swimming for home Sunday night.

The penguin has been fitted with a GPS tracker, and fans can follow his progress on Our Far South website, the Sirtrack website and the Wellington Zoo.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


New Zealand's Penguin Happy Feet Headed Back Home

Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images(WELLINGTON, New Zealand) -- The wayward emperor penguin who came to be known as Happy Feet is now safely aboard his boat enclosure, making his journey back home to the Southern Ocean.

The bird with the famously bad sense of direction was transported from New Zealand's Wellington Zoo to the research vessel Tangaroa Monday morning as close to 2,000 people gathered to wish him bon voyage.

In his custom-made, first class crate, Happy Feet will stay cool with over 60 buckets of ice and enjoy a steady diet of fish for his four day cruise.  He’ll be dropped off at a latitude of 51 degrees south to continue his swim home.

Once he is released, scientists will continue to follow him through a GPS tracker the penguin has been fitted with.  The public will also have access to follow his progress online.

Wellington Zoo took Happy Feet in after he was found on a New Zealand beach in June, apparently sick from mistakenly eating sand.  Veterinarians nursed him back to health and cleared him from his trip back home.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio