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Java The Lonely Pengun

Lonely Penguin Can’t Swim with His Friends at Drusillas Park

The Penguins at Drusillas Park are looking exceptionally smart in their new winter coats after recently completing their annual moult. The dapper group can be seen swimming in their pool and enjoying the sun…all except for one…. Poor little Java’s moult is taking a bit longer, so he has to sit on the side-lines in his raggedy old coat, with no friends to play with.

Every year Drusillas Humboldt penguins undergo their annual moult. During August or July, the penguins will shed their old feathers and re-emerge with a beautiful new winter tuxedo.

Zoo Business Manager, Sue Woodgate, said: “The penguins get very fat during their annual moult, they can’t swim or do any exercise during this time, so all they do is eat lots of fish and stand around.”

“They aren’t able to swim because the feathers they are shedding get waterlogged and then they lose buoyancy in the water. So, whilst they moult, all the penguins stay out of the water. The whole waddle – a group of penguins – go through the moult together.”

Fourteen out of Drusillas’ fifteen penguins have completed their moult, and they are now out in their pool playing and relaxing in the sun. Only Java has still not completed his moult and can be seen waddling miserably along the side of the pool, watching all of his friends play without him.

As well as his feathers, Java, still has a little porky belly to shed. So, whilst his mates strut about looking ready for a night at the opera, poor chubby, scruffy Java is left all alone.
Drusillas’ Business Manager, Sue Woodgate, said: “Oh he looks so down in the dumps! Mind you, I think we would all feel a bit down if our friends were all out in new glamorous outfits and you were stuck watching from afar in the same clothes you’d been wearing for the past year… and you’d gained a few pounds.”

“Java just shuffles between his little cave and the edge of the pool; all of the other penguins are off swimming and having fun. Our Keepers are doing their best to keep him company and cheer him up, but he will be fine once his moult is complete. He’ll look smarter than everyone else! When he gets bored of watching he just slowly waddles back to his bed and takes a nap.”

Keepers at Drusillas are crossing their fingers Java’s moult finishes soon so he can get back to bouncing around with his penguin pals.

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