We’ve heard of naughty dogs, but did you know Little Penguins can be naughty too? Keepers at the National Aquarium of New Zealand have been posting funny photos of the Little Penguins they’ve voted as the naughtiest and nicest of the month.
Their posts became so popular on social media that they now pick penguins each month and have been doing it for around a year.
The Little Penguins at the aquarium all came in sick or injured. Some penguins are brought in because they have been abandoned as chicks, others have been attacked by dogs, are partially sighted or were sick. Some have lost flippers after becoming tangled in fishing nylon.
Whatever the reason, any of the penguins that can be rehabilitated are mended by staff at the aquarium and then sent back into the wild. But if they’re not strong enough to survive on their own, they stay at the aquarium.
The Little Penguin is the world’s smallest species of penguin, and is native to New Zealand. But they’re big on personality, as you’re about to see.
And for those that might be wondering, Little Penguins Timmy and Betty were the overall winners in 2017.
Betty won for being a “goody too-shoes” as she loves to swim and always waiting patiently for her food. Her feet have a slight deformity and she came in as a malnourished chick.
Timmy, on the hand, won “naughtiest” “as he always tries to steal fish, and “knock other penguins out of the way to get the food”. “He also has a reputation for flicking sand everywhere – in the food, and into the keepers’ eyes,” the aquarium writes. Very naughty, Timmy. But we don’t think the keepers and his many fans mind, given how Timmy came to the aquarium.
Timmy was found on a local beach in Hawke’s Bay with a spinal injury that left him unable to walk. “He couldn’t even stand, dragged himself around with his beak and flippers,” the aquarium explains. He got chiropractic work done and can now walk although he’s a little bit wobbly on his feet. The aquarium also says his behavior has improved.
The video below explains further about how the Little Penguins come into the aquarium’s care, what they eat and how being right next to the ocean means the penguins always have a constant supply of fresh salt water to swim in!
The Little Penguin enclosure at National Aquarium of New Zealand, which is located in Napier Hawke’s Bay, opened in 2012. You can learn more about the National Aquarium by visiting their website. You can also continue to follow their “Penguin of the month” on Facebook.