Japan's fugitive penguin captured
Tokyo Sea Life Park's fugitive penguin has finally been caught.
May 25th, 2012
07:52 AM ET

Japan's fugitive penguin captured

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.

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Filed under: Animals • Japan • Penguins
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. lolol

    what an intelligent penguin. I can understand him wanting to flee this radioactive wasteland

    May 25, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Katie

    Sounds like that penguin deserved it's freedom.

    May 25, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. Marty & Sid

    Actually, the penguin turned itself in after seeing some three-eyed fish.

    May 25, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    If he's that smart and tough, he deserves freedom. He certainly doesn't like living with his captors.
    He inspires me.
    I cannot think of an animal that smart as being designated by a number, so I'll give him a name for my own use.
    I'll call him Darwin.

    May 25, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. barbara

    How much you want to bet that little rogue penquin escapes again!

    May 25, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. Malaka

    They should've just dispatched Batman and Robin. They could've captured the penguin easily. POW!!!! CLUNK!!!!! LMAO

    May 25, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Rhenjamin

      Malaka, your comment made my friday!

      May 25, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. Saywhatyoumean

    Well at least he can get medical care now and not be in any more danger from people, but still, it was a nice little story wasn't it ?

    May 25, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheese

      Justifying the taking of one's freedom with the fact that he'll have access to healthcare and personal safety... must be a liberal.

      May 25, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. Caroline

    Poor little guy,he just wanted a vacation,now he got sent home without the chance to mail me a postcard

    May 25, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. SparkleFarkle

    He wanted to go to Aruba – but oh wait – they kill people there – so that wasn't such a good idea

    May 25, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. Genesy

    Marty & Sid and Malaka (both of you hilarious!) Thank you.

    May 25, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. ModXell

    He/She proved you wrong. Was doing perfectly fine. That little guy deserves his/her freedom (and he/she shouldn't even be fighting for it).

    May 25, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. saywhat

    Great job done. And great news
    Captured and returned to captivity. It did though enjoy some breaths of freedom.
    Let us see now.
    This indeed gets our mind off millions of insignificant humans in wrongful captivity, oppressed, starving and voiceless in places we know and places we don't
    waiting for Batman & Robin

    May 25, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. thlix

    Free Penguin 337!

    i swear when i first heard about its escape.. i couldn't help but picture it, once it escape, just out side the fence.. both flippers in the air, shouting "Freedom!" ala Bravehart.

    May 25, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. Just Me

    This little bird that I named Forest Gump when it first started showing up in the news...managed to escape and live on its own for 3 months. It will now be taken back to where it started. I don't know much about animals and how they remember things, but if Forest can remember...I'm betting he/she is already planning that escape again.

    May 25, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. Robin

    Was batman involved in his capture?

    May 25, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
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