They take their work seriously in Orlando, so much so they take their penguins home with them. So I expect their handler will be holding a house pppparty today for World Ppppenguin Day.
The penguins’ handler at SeaWorld Orlando showed his love for his ppppals when he showed us around their ppppen on my first visit to SeaWorld.
The lonely penguin: In the Eastern Cape, South Africa
I shared the story with the newbies on my second trip out there about how the gas station attendant was taken aback when he saw the penguins in the front seat of the handler’s car.
But he confirmed it when we visited the enclosure.
I smell ppppoo
Now we all think we know penguins and we will certainly have fond memories of feeding them at the zoo.
But it is only when you are up close and personal with them that they reveal their true selves.
On your shoe with a white gooey mess… yes, their droppings are white.
And that will mean that they won’t be able to spot their ppppals’ ppppoo on the ice.
Visitors to the enclosure keep a safe distance, of course, which is just as well.
Because it’s blinking cold and also rather smelly.
Ppppersonal hygiene pppplease
But what they lack in ppppersonal hygiene (and after stomping around the park in the searing heat I’m one to talk), they make up for in cuteness.
And if you just take a deep breath it’s well worth it to get that money shot snuggling up to Pingu.
The other thing about penguins which is worth mentioning in the times in which we are living is that you could never get them to social distance.
Maybe it’s the cold which makes them cosy up to each other.
They do in their thousands too on St Croix in Port Elizabeth where I had the privilege of seeing them in their natural environment.
It is there in South Africa’s Eastern Cape that you’ll find the largest African penguin colony in the world.
And again you want to be careful what you eat before you get on your boat because the waters around the island can be choppy.
Raggy Charters will do their best to chart a calm course but that’s just nature for you.
And perhaps bobbing along and watching the dolphins rise and fall around you through the spray just adds to the motion on the ocean sickness.
But then they do say ‘no pain, no gain’ and it is certainly a boat journey and an experience you’ll never forget.
So pppparty on for World Ppppenguin Day.