Featured Image Credit: National Aquarium of New Zealand via Facebook
It seems that a penguin at New Zealand’s National Aquarium has found an interesting way to teach their rowdy little penguins (also known as little blue penguins, a fitting name!) a lesson in behavior: a little bit of public shame.
Ever since they posted on Facebook it at the beginning of July, the content has gone viral, receiving over 6,000 shares, 5,000 comments, and 11,000 likes and reactions! It was also shared onto Reddit, where it got even more popularity and attention.
In years past, there have been sensations like this of people on social media shaming their pets, and although whether it works or not has always had mixed results, it seems the Aquarium, located in Napier, has decided to try its luck.
According to the Aquarium, although they only shared last month’s “winners”, keepers have been naming good and naughty for about three months.
The penguin crowned “naughty” for the month of June, however, was one named Timmy. One reason he got the title was for trying to steal fish during feeding times— which was caught on camera (one of numerous times, we can only assume).
His other offense was that he seemingly pushed another penguin over, which there isn’t concrete proof of, but we totally believe it.
On the other flipper, the Aquarium also has a more rewarding category, naming the little penguin Betty as the “Good”penguin of the month for her fantastic swimming (which she loves to do all day!) and patient behavior when it comes to waiting for fish, unlike the other penguins in the aquarium’s Penguin Cove. Betty found a home at the National Aquarium when she was brought in as a malnourished chick, and has a slight deformity that gives her smaller “ballerina” like feet.
Shortly after the post began garnering lots of attention, they put up another post about Timmy— giving their naughty penguin even more time in the spotlight (which may not be the best way to discourage future misbehavior) and their fans a little bit of information about him, telling the public simply that, “We love Timmy, however he’s a regular offender of stealing fish and pushing other penguins out the way while flicking up sand in the process.” This sand seems to go everywhere—in the food, and into the keepers’ eyes, just the way a playful penguin might like it!
Timmy found a home at National Aquarium after being found in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand with an injury to his spine; making him practically incapable to walk, needing to drag himself around via beak and flippers. He’s since gotten lots of help from his own chiropractor, and can now walk! The Aquarium says that he’s a little bit wobbly, sometimes, but he’s much better than he was. Due to his injuries, Timmy is one of many who have found their permanent home at Penguin Cove.
The National Aquarium is home to many penguins who were found in similar situations to Timmy and Betty, whether they were abandoned while young, sick, injured, or they have disabilities— each have their own reasons for being there, and they each get care from the aquarium’s specialist staff.
Nevertheless, we can’t wait to see what penguins make it to the board of good and naughty in the following months! And we certainly hope that Timmy learns his lesson about being mean to the other penguins soon!