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Is it a Bird, Is it a Plane… No it’s a Penguin!

This was an April Fool story. Penguins cannot fly!  

We’ve all heard the expression pigs may fly but imagine the surprise of Sussex Zoo Keepers at Drusillas Park when they arrived at work to see a penguin gliding through the air.

Although penguins are not generally airborne, their wings have evolved to allow them to fly through the water at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. This is called porpoising and it allows the birds to travel great distances without stopping.

Nevertheless, one flighty bird at Drusillas has ppperfected the skill a little too well and is now defying all the odds to re-write the rule book.

Wallace was born at the zoo in 2012 and is a very energetic fellow. He has always been a lot faster than his fellow birds due to an unusually large wing span. However, a sudden drop in weight appears to have made him more aerodynamic too.

Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate explains: “It’s pretty unbelievable and I wouldn’t have trusted it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. Wallace’s wings are slightly longer than the rest of the penguins which means he is able to propel himself along very effectively.”

“Historically this elongated bone structure has just meant that he is able to swim circles round our other penguins. However combined with his recent weight loss it has resulted in consequences that are much more far reaching too.”

“Wallace not only porpoises faster than the other penguins, due to his lighter body mass, he can now fly above the water for up to five times longer than the other penguins in the group.”

“It’s breeding season amongst the penguins at the moment and at two years old, this is the first year that Wallace has been interested. As a result he has become a little love sick and has not been eating his usual fill of fish.”

“We hope that once he starts to eat properly again the issue will rectify itself naturally. However, we will need to keep a very close eye on Wallace in the future.” 

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