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Penguin Love Triangle

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Animal Updates | Penguins | Volunteering

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


The Soap Opera in June Keyes

Throughout the spring it was a wonderful duet. The elder penguin from San Diego would call out to his mate and the young female from Brazil would answer in kind. Then a young male from San Francisco entered the picture.

Roxy was rescued from the beaches around Ipanema, Brazil. The unreleasable juvenile Magellanic Penguin was brought to Long Beach to further her treatment. Later a 19-year-old of the same species was transferred to the Aquarium. The older penguin Henry liked the youngster and took her under his wings. They were constantly together. When Henry would sing out his penguin call Roxy would answer back in a harmonious tone. Throughout the spring they happily preened and frolicked together as a mated pair.

Then came the summer molt. Roxy entered molt first. During this time she bloated up and lost her beautiful feathers. Henry was very dedicated to Roxy during this stressful time for her. He kept guard over the nest box while Roxy was inside looking like a plucked chicken. He kept the other penguins from bothering her. When she finished her molt she was more beautiful than ever.

When Henry went through his molt right after Roxy got her new feathers she did not reciprocate. She instead let her eyes wander over to Floyd who was showing off his penguin manliness by porpoising and racing through the water every morning, something that Roxy also enjoyed doing. Floyd hailed from San Francisco, was just a year older than Roxy and had finished his molt about the same time as her. The two soon hit it off and while Henry was hunkered down in the nest box molting, Floyd and Roxy became mates. As far as penguin relationships go, it made more sense for the two young active birds to pair up. However it was still sad to see Henry after he emerged from the nest box all alone after his molt. He and Roxy were no longer a pair.

However being the debonair penguin that he is, it didn’t take long for another female to notice Henry’s mating calls weren’t being answered. Kate is now eyeing Henry and spending much more time near him. Nobody stays alone long in June Keyes. It’s like one big party house for penguins

File this under the penguin soap opera in June Keyes.

Penguin Love Triangle
Happier times for Henry. Roxy just entering molt standing next to Henry.  | Hugh Ryono
Penguin Love Triangle
Roxy and Floyd swimming together.  | Hugh Ryono
Penguin Love Triangle
Jeremy, Ludwig and Newsom check out the newly mated couple Floyd and Roxy.  | Hugh Ryono
Penguin Love Triangle
Roxy singing with Floyd in harmony. Something she used to do with Henry.  | Hugh Ryono

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