Birdland Park and Gardens in Gloucestershire, England is home to over 500 birds and flocked by tourists the world over.
One fateful day, head keeper Alastair Keen thought it was just going to be another day for a penguin to give birth. Little did he know that one of the tiny bundle is going to be more than just another king penguin.
Charlotte was the very first female penguin to be born in England in the last nine years. As she and her brothers grew, she’d often follow them towards the side of the pool—only to dip her toes and retreat in defeat.
Alas! Charlotte the penguin was petrified of water. Two weeks in and she still won’t take the plunge.
Being both Charlotte’s mom and dad, Alastair went the extra mile and decided to get into his wet suit and teach the little critter how to swim.
“Initially Charlotte was absolutely terrified at the prospect of getting her feathers wet. I know penguins can’t fly but she was making a pretty good attempt in her bid to avoid taking the plunge. Alastair explains. “In the wild the chicks only learn to swim by following their parents in to the water so I, as her adopted dad, felt obliged to get in and try to show her how it was done. At first it didn’t seem like she was ever going to get the hang of it, she certainly hasn’t taken to it like a duck to water.”
Charlotte was born rear-handed but that didn’t stop her from finally conquering her fears. Now, she dives into the pool six to seven times a day.