Friday 19 January 2018

New Zealand’s naughtiest penguin has become a social media star

Meet the marine mischief-maker.

The Little Penguin in New Zealand. (Thinkstock/PA)
The Little Penguin in New Zealand. (Thinkstock/PA)

By Sarah Marshall

Everyone loves a bad boy, the charismatic delinquent who’s always breaking rules.

The latest recalcitrant rascal to steal peoples’ hearts is Timmy, a naughty penguin whose misdemeanours include stealing fish and pushing other penguins over.

#PenguinShaming

A post shared by Kanga Rod (@kangarod) on

The serial offender has been listed as ‘Naughty Penguin of the Month’ by the National Aquarium of New Zealand. Since being posted on their Facebook page, a picture of a new name and shame board has received 11K likes. And now everyone’s asking – who is Timmy?

Here is Timmy in action! Trying his best to steal from Draco

Posted by National Aquarium of New Zealand on Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Well, the little blue penguin was found injured on a beach in Hawke’s Bay on the North Island and taken to the aquarium in Napier. Fortunately, with the help of his own chiropractor, he was able to walk again. Hurrah! Now he spends days merrily swimming in the pool at Penguin Cove and enjoys flicking sand at his penguin pals. Tut tut.

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A view of Hawke’s Bay (Thinkstock/PA)

Little blue penguins are the smallest in the species and grow to an average height of 25cm. Also known as fairy penguins or korora in Maori, they’re found around the coastline of New Zealand, the Chatham islands, Tasmania and southern Australia. Spending most of their time at sea, they come ashore between May and June to build nests in underground burrows or in rocks and caves, and to moult from November to March.

Garbage disposal unit #1 and garbage disposal unit #2 . A.K.A Timmy and Captain.

A post shared by Sonja (@sonhumay) on

And before you start hurling criticisms at the aquarium for championing some sort of aquatic authoritarian state – it’s worth noting that keepers reward good penguins too. This month, Betty was praised for waiting patiently for her fish… although good behaviour hasn’t necessarily earned her fans.

If you want to come face-to-face with the marine A-listers, the aquarium offers ‘close encounters’ daily at 9am and 1pm, where – for £39.50pp ($70 NZD) – you can hand-feed and hang out with Timmy and his pals for 45 minutes.

Arguably, it’s a long way to go for a penguin, but you can also keep up to date with the latest antics by following the aquarium’s Facebook page or on Twitter with #naughtypenguinofthemonth

Tune in to find out if Timmy will top the leader board next month, or – in a freak turn of events – Betty starts to misbehave.

Press Association

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