When a 1-year-old Humboldt penguin that escaped from a Tokyo aquarium three months ago dared to set foot on land in Ichikawa on Thursday night, it was captured by hand and finally collared, The Japan Times reported.
An aquarium employee was walking alongside the Edogawa River in Chiba Prefecture at 5:30 p.m. and spotted the fugitive penguin, which escaped in March.
The penguin was seen swimming in the river near the Kanamachi water purification plant in Katsushika Ward earlier in the week. Last week, people also saw it thriving and snacking on small fish in Tokyo Bay. It was assumed that the bird was finding some place to rest onshore at night.
The fugitive bird, known as Penguin 337, somehow scaled a 13-foot wall and got through a barbed-wire fence to get into the bay. Aquarium officials believe it escaped through small gaps that cats and frogs can pass through.
Officials from Tokyo Sea Life Park feared the penguin would not survive in the waters of the bay, busy with marine traffic headed for densely populated Tokyo.
"It didn't look like it has gotten thinner over the past two months, or been without food. It doesn't seem to be any weaker. So it looks as if it's been living quite happily in the middle of Tokyo Bay," Kazuhiro Sakamoto, deputy director of the park, told Reuters.
The penguin was filmed by a Japanese coast guard patrol craft on May 7, but the crew was unable to catch it then.
Penguin 337 is one of 135 penguins at Tokyo Sea Life Park.
See the latest photo of the penguin on Reuters AlertNet.
A penguin that escaped from a Japanese aquarium in March is apparently thriving in Tokyo Bay, according to news reports from Japan.
The fugitive bird, known as Penguin 337, somehow scaled a 13-foot-high wall and then got through a barbed-wire fence to get into the bay.
Officials from Tokyo Sea Life Park feared the 1-year-old Humbolt penguin would not survive in the waters of the bay, busy with marine traffic headed for densely populated Tokyo.
But apparently 337 is making meals of small fish in the bay and finding some place to rest onshore at night, park officials said, according to a Reuters.
The penguin was filmed by a Japanese coast guard patrol craft on May 7, but the crew was unable to catch it.
We've posted a lot of videos on CNN.com this year, but the ones that seem to be the most popular are the viral videos. From the hilarious barking cat to the incredibly talented mini-Nicki Minaj, 2011 has been jam-packed with some incredibly amusing videos. In the spirit of the end of the year, we at Gotta Watch put together the four most-watched viral videos on CNN.com in 2011. Enjoy!
Rejection is funny - This video out of Missouri proves that laughing truly is contagious. A letter that would make most of us mad seems to have a very different effect on a little boy.
In need of a good laugh? Well, nothing is more contagious than babies giggling. From wacky to just plain cute, Gotta Watch compiled the best videos of goofy infants.
The errant emperor penguin that showed up on a New Zealand beach a week ago appears to be feeling better after emergency treatment, New Zealand media report.
The lost Antarctic bird, the first seen in New Zealand in 43 years, had shown "feisty" behavior and eaten fish after veterinarians and a physician at the Wellington Zoo flushed more than 5 pounds of sand and sticks from its belly, TVNZ reported.
"Every day he survives, we have more confidence," Mauritz Basson, the zoo's general manager for operations, told TV One on Tuesday morning.
Although Basson used a masculine pronoun, the penguin's sex is not known.
"They do use ice to cool themselves down," Basson said by way of explaining the sand in the bird's belly. "I think he was probably trying to cool down sitting on Peka Peka Beach, which is slightly warmer than Antarctica this time of year.
"He consumed the sand, which didn't melt, didn't cool him down, so he ate it until he was full and he deteriorated quickly from there."
Experts are debating what to do next if the bird recovers. For now, it's being kept alone in a cold room with a blanket of ice on the floor. Keepers are reluctant to move it into a population for fear of spreading some undetected disease.
One such expert, John Cockrem, suggest releasing the penguin into the sea, point it toward Antarctica and let it find its own way home if it can.
"The bird had swum here naturally and in spring the juveniles would normally turn around and head south," he told TVNZ. "So if the bird is back in the water it can make its own way south as it would have normally done."
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