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. andyoo

    free 337

    May 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gopherit

    The penguin proved that the "experts" were wrong after staging its apparently-daring escape from confinement. It should have been left to live as it apparently wished.

    May 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluemoondrop


      May 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Penguin Chick

    I think the Coast Guard must have been secretly harboring the penguin.

    May 25, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 1-800-Penguin Attorney

    Release my client!

    May 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1-800- Fish Justice

      Your client murdered my clients sir!

      May 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. guppyman

    Caught by Batman of course!!

    May 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. HelenK

    Go! Bird! Go!

    May 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jaystone

    I'm surprised they didn't bleed it out and eat it!. First course Dolphin, second course penguin.

    May 25, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. VoiceOfReason

    Poor little guy, just wanted to be free and apparently was enjoying himself. Such a shame that this creature be jailed for the rest of his life and he has committed no crime.

    May 25, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. talkic social network

    He just wanted a bit of the good life...sorry little fella.

    May 25, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. raven

    I could understand recapturing him/her if it was starving or suffering but the article clearly states he hadn't lost weight and was making a living.I was kinda hoping he would bust his buddies out and they all live happily ever after.I wonder what reason is behind returning him? Could he not survive winter? Are penguins so social that he couldn't survive solo? Whatever the reason or reasons, I hope it was to serve the interest of the penguin and not ours. Intrepid little guy!(

    May 26, 2012 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. .

    Put the little booger in chains! Hard labor.

    And lots of raw herring.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. jcluma

    "Penguin 337." Come on, this adventurous little pirate deserves a NAME! How about "Jack Sparrow"?

    May 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sea Shepherd

    He was headed to a foreign embassy to ask for asylum.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MrWadd

    Penguin 337 is one of 135 penguins at Tokyo Sea Life Park. I want to know what happened to the other 202!

    May 27, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. Opus

    *** FREE Penguin 337 ***

    May 27, 2012 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
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