The Humboldt penguin that escaped from Tokyo Sea Life Park and spent 82 days on the loose before recapture will no longer be known as “No. 337.” The runaway has been given the name of Sazanami, which has the meaning of “small waves” in Japanese. As part of the penguin’s return to public viewing last month, the aquarium launched a campaign asking for visitors to submit name suggestions.
In announcing its choice of name on Tuesday, Tokyo Sea Life Park officials explained that part of the reason Sazanami was chosen out of 6,400 suggestions was because the penguin was eventually returned after some time, just as waves ebb and flow. Shortly after the penguin escaped, he was spotted in the Tokyo Bay several times by onlookers. For more than two months he managed to evade not only the aquarium’s animal keeper, but even the Japanese coast guard couldn’t get close enough to capture him.
He was finally caught towards the end of May in Chiba Prefecture, and except for a mild case of pink-eye, veterinarians determined he was safe and healthy. It was at this point that the penguin’s gender was finally determined. He was known only as “number 337″ because at his age at the time of escape it was difficult to known his gender just by appearance.
[Via The Star]