Teaching penguins to swim

When it comes to water, penguins aren’t naturals.

As a matter of fact, “some of them are terrified,” says Bethany Wlaz,a keeper at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

So each time African penguins are born into the zoo’s breeding program for the endangered birds, someone like Wlaz becomes their swimming coach. But first comes the equally terrifying introduction to being wet.

Soft as a cotton ball and about the size of a roasted chicken, Male One — hatched on Oct. 12 — is lowered into a stainless steel sink by Wlaz and Betty Dipple, another animal keeper.

“Araaah,” the bird protests, as a stream of lukewarm water washes over its head and flippers. “Araaah.”


My favorite line from the story is “It’s hard to have an entirely bad day when you’re around penguins”  🙂

Also, I had no idea that penguin eggs were at one time considered a delicacy…but I reckon most folks will eat most anything, eh?


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