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. Jimbo

    Catherine- if you didn't know the souther part of south america is anything but a warm climate.

    May 25, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Buck

      Jimbo- if you didn't know the Humboldt penguins don't live in the southern part of South America. 🙂

      May 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • xjdavid

      Buck, Wikipedia is your friend. Humboldt penguins do indeed come from South America. "Coastal Peru and Chile." So, apologize to Jimbo.

      May 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. WASP

    it's a shame, it did all that work to figure it's way to freedom; not satisfied with the status quo; and lived free for 3 months on it's own............hmmmmm yeah i can see an upcoming disney feature made from this. ROFLMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    May 25, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Wallace & Gromit

    Never trust a penguin.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CNNuthin

    At this point, I think he deserves a better name than Penguin 337. He is not a number, he is a free ma...err Penguin....well was a free penguin.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mortalc01l

      LOVE "The Prisoner" reference.....

      May 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    Oh, I saw the headline and thought it was Sidney Crosby losing his way due to another concussion.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Augie

    What the heck have you been smoking?

    May 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CosmicC

    Penguins are social animals. While he was able to feed himself while free, I'm sure he was anything but happy living alone.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. edocol

    yeah, I think you're on the wrong page. And smoking the wrong stuff.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Michael

    Amazing they call a penguin searching for freedom and a real penguin's life a "fugitive". The aquarium is the criminal, imprisoning creatures for life.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rob

    Are those little penguin handcuffs??

    May 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmyinCambridge

      I think so.... poor little guy. I was hoping he'd make it home like that Bugs Bunny cartoon. Or commandeer a ship like the Madagascar penguins.

      May 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nick

    "I am not a number! I am a free penguin!"

    May 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bill

    It's not a penguin, it's a puffin, just like the new cereal.

    May 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Just Me

    This is terrible. This penguin has been doing apparently well on its own for 3 months, and yet he ends up back in captivity. I say free the penguin and take those yellow things off his wings. If I were him I would make life miserable for my captors, and bite them everytime I get. I would become a menance and even bite other animals out of spite or go on a hunger strike. I would definately try to escape again, and would be darn sure the next time around to swimt as far away from Toyko Bay as my legs can take me! Poor guy.

    May 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • flip

      Just dont wear a hoodie, or eat skittles.

      May 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • flip

      Chilly Willy should hear about this.

      May 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Red Riding Hood

    What kind of name is Penguin 337 anyway... And they wonder why he wanted to escape.... I am not a number !!!!

    May 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. wildone

    Wonder if his green glow gave him away.

    May 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
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