January 22, 2009
Zoo’s penguin afraid of water
Keepers at a British zoo said a resident penguin with a fear of water has become a hit with curious park visitors.
Staff at Blackbrook Zoological Park in Leek, England, said 11-year-old Kentucky the Humbolt penguin developed a phobia of water because he was born a runt and had problems with losing feathers too quickly, making the water too cold for his comfort, The Sun reported Thursday.
It's a bit too cold for him in the water, so he spends all his time on the rocks just walking around, said Adam Stevenson, the zoo's assistant bird keeper.
It's a bit of a pain having to go over especially to him to feed him because he won't go in the water, but he's a real character and everyone at the zoo loves him. We've got one of the biggest collections of birds in Europe here but Kentucky is a bit of a crowd pleaser.
He has become quite famous because it's quite unusual for penguins not to like the water, he said.
Stevenson said keepers douse Kentucky with water at least twice a day to keep his feathers healthy and clean.