A hilarious YouTube video captured by a zoo keeper records an incident at the Odense Zoo in Denmark reminiscent of the classic computer-animated comedy movie Madagascar. A group of five crafty penguins attempted to stage a zoo break, but the keeper at the zoo caught up with them by following footprints on the wet floor.
The five sneaky penguins saw a chance to escape zoo captivity and made a dash for freedom. But their attempted escape was foiled when a zoo keeper noticed suspicious footprints running from their enclosure down a corridor meant only for the use of zoo staff.
The keeper notices the footprints of the birds running down the corridor on wet floor and around a bend. She follows the footprints around the bend and the group of penguins can be seen waddling hurriedly toward the exit at the end of the corridor.
As soon as the penguins see the keeper, they quicken their pace and make a dash for the exit. A panicked urgency is betrayed in their quickened pace that appears to suggest a conscious determination to make it out of zoo captivity to freedom.
But sadly, the escape attempt fails expectedly. The birds soon reach what looks like the closed end of the corridor, and realizing they have been cornered, they pause briefly and then make a futile effort to find an alternative exit. But unable to find an alternative exit, they turn around and run towards and past the zoo keeper back to their zoo enclosure.
Intermittent noises from the animals appear to register disappointment at the failure of their planned zoo break, and one suspects that their capitulation has an underlying hope of future opportunity.
Staff at the Odense Zoo appeared to find the incident amusing and posted the footage showing the birds attempting to escape on YouTube and Facebook with a comment, “Perhaps our penguins have watched the penguins of Madagascar a bit too much.”
The reference was to the 2005 computer-animated movie Madagascar, based on the memorable penguin characters Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private, who escaped from a zoo in New York and ended up in Madagascar.
Many animal lovers have expressed sympathy for the Odense Zoo penguins, saying they wished they were able to escape to freedom.
“Poor creatures. I wish they were living a free life in their natural environment, not imprisoned for the entertainment of witless humans.”
“So sad to see them trying to get away like that. They should be free to roam around their natural environment not locked away in a zoo.”
“Doesn’t say a lot for zoos’ hospitality when every creature would escape if they could…”
Penguins are flightless aquatic birds (order Sphenisciformes, family Spheniscidae) that have flipper-like appendages in place of wings which they use for swimming in water. They are very highly adapted for life in water with plumage that acts as camouflage. They are nimble and agile in water but only able to waddle clumsily on land.
Penguins are found in nature almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, mostly in Antarctica. Although they hunt for fish, squid, and krill in water, they reproduce and raise their young on land. They generally breed in large land colonies, forming monogamous pairs for breeding. The female lays two eggs in a clutch and both male and female share the duty of incubating the eggs.
Emperor penguins are the largest species of penguins, with adults reaching about 1.1 m in height and weighing up to 35 kg, while the smallest are blue penguins which average about 40 cm in height and weigh only about 1 kg.
[Image via Odense Zoo/YouTube]