A 10-year-old African penguin who lives in a botanical garden in Shimane Prefecture has apparently chosen her Valentine’s date. Unfortunately for her, he’s a 40-year-old married man with two children, but that hasn’t stopped the little one from expressing her love for her object of affection, to the delight of the Internet of course.
Sakura lives at the bird sanctuary and botanical garden in the city of Matsue. Just last December, one of the park employees noticed that the bird kept following, Takeshi Notsu, one of his colleagues at the garden. They confirmed her “amorous intentions” when the penguin started shaking her head and lying on the ground, which is apparently part of her specie’s mating ritual. Whenever Notsu goes near the penguin pool or the greenhouse, she starts to follow him around and run alongside him. If she could bat her eyelashes and make money eyes at him, she probably would too. Her human love sometimes strokes her back gently as a sign of his affection, much to her delight.
But just like with human love, there is a dark side to Sakura’s “obsession” with Notsu. She pecks at his feet whenever she sees him holding other animals and gets into fights with other female penguins during the walk-with-the-penguins event at the park, so much so that she’s already “banned” from the popular event. But Notsu is still nice to her, making time to go out on “dates” with her, since she was recently widowed when her mate Musashi passed away last October due to an illness. Park officials say female penguins are usually drawn to males with a low, strong voice and apparently, Notsu has the lowest one among all the staff in the park.
[ via Asahi Shimbun ]