Thursday, December 15, 2005

And now, from the "Is this REALLY necessary?" files and Yahoo! News...

(Pics of Opus from and

Sudiegirl sez: Besides cats, penguins rate right up there as far as some of my fave animals are concerned. I like them just the way they are...the weight just makes 'em more cuddly even if they do smell like regurgitated fish. That's why I don't understand the concept of an exercise program for them. Oh well...I shouldn't question the Japanese. After all, they invented the Walkman, and Speed Racer! Truly, who am I to judge?

OK, enough of that...I'm attaching the article, along with the witty repartee I am so well known for among my eight (or more) let's have some fun with everyone's flightless waterfowl!

Japanese Get Fat Penguins to Exercise
1 hour, 12 minutes ago

TOKYO - It's wintertime and the king penguins at a zoo in northern Japan are putting on weight. But the keepers there have a solution: exercise. (OK, I'm reading this, and I'm remembering what penguins look like...basically, bowling pins with wings, feet and feathers. Skinny penguins just don't compute with me...why do that? Could someone explain that to me?)

Authorities at Asahiyama Zoo are taking the penguins on 500-yard walks on the snowy grounds twice a day, said zoo spokesman Tetsuo Yamazaki. (Well,'s not like they're exactly exerting themselves. Sounds like MY kind of exercise program!)

"Just like in humans ... the fat accumulates during the winter months, and the blood-sugar level rises," Yamazaki explained. from the zoo, 570 miles northwest of Tokyo.

The zoo's 15 king penguins aren't exactly obese. Penguin winter weight varies from 33 pounds to 40 pounds, said zoo official Kazunobu Maru. So far, only one of the flock is 40 pounds, he said. (So what's the problem?)

The reason for weight gain is natural, zoo officials say.

"In order to withstand the cold, the penguins have a habit of standing very still during winter months," (YEAH! SEE? MOTHER NATURE CAN'T BE WRONG!) Yamazaki said, while in the summer they can walk around and swim as much as they want. (Ya had me...then ya lost me.)

To fend off obesity, the zoo instituted the winter exercise program in 2003. (Was Richard Simmons on the Board of Directors?)

The penguins have tender webbed feet and can only walk significant distances on snow, so the program can only take place during the colder months. (A-ha! Another reason I can steal from the penguins..."I have tender webbed feet and can only walk significant distances to and from the grocery store to get Chubby Hubby ice cream.")

The zoo, on the northern island of Hokkaido, takes the penguins on strolls from December until April. The first walk of the season was Thursday. (You know, I wonder if penguins could speak, what the conversations between them would sound like on these walks. Let's see...)

"Hey, Phil, did ya watch Survivor last night?"

"Nah...Joyce wanted to watch something on that damned Lifetime channel."

"Did you hear that Marge is serving HALIBUT at her party?"

"Well, with Harry out of work sitting on his feathered ass, they certainly can't afford herring!"

"Well, Celia and Dave are expecting a little chick any day now."

"Uh-huh, and guess who's going to have to do a lot more work than she used to?" there you have in the wild.

Merry Christmas.