Meet Pierre – the penguin who

Screengrab: Perth Zoo video

Meet Pierre – the penguin who likes watching cartoons

He’s the only one of his species in a Perth zoo hospital, so his human carers keep him in contact with the penguin world via iPad.

Meet Pierre – the penguin who

Screengrab: Perth Zoo video

When you’re all by yourself in hospital, far from family and friends, what’s a lonely penguin to do?

Pierre the penguin from Perth reckons he knows just the trick: Get out the old iPad and tune into some side-splitting penguin cartoons. 

He also watches penguin documentaries

And when he’s had enough of that, mate, he downloads a few penguin documentaries, or watches a live feed to see what the cousins are up to in faraway Edinburgh and Kansas City.

Pierre is an endangered Northern Rockhopper Penguin who braved a record-breaking swim from islands in the Indian or South Atlantic Ocean before washing ashore on a beach in Australia.

He was rescued, alone and exhausted, and taken to Perth Zoo, where he is now undergoing rehabilitation at its wildlife hospital. And, at the same time, gaining a reputation as perhaps the world’s most iPad-savvy penguin.

Keepers ensure his days are full

“As the only penguin of his type being cared for by a zoo in Australasia, we are spending a lot of time with him, providing enrichment and ensuring his days are fulfilled,” says the Perth Zoo.

“His welfare is our top priority. So, to ensure he is able to still see and hear penguins of his type, we’ve started playing him Rockhopper Penguin documentaries and showing him live streams of the [same] penguins in international zoos – including those in Kansas City Zoo in the USA and Edinburgh Zoo in the UK.”

He’s apparently also a big fan of Pingu, the penguin TV cartoon series, which is high on his watch list.

Zoo is searching for a suitable home

“We are currently working with our international zoo colleagues to find a suitable home to ensure he has company as he continues his rehabilitation,” says Perth Zoo.

Rockhopper Penguins are one of the rarest penguins in the world. The global population is thought to be less than 240 300 breeding pairs. 

The species are known for their charismatic personalities and distinctive ‘Groucho Marx’ eyebrows. Unlike other penguins which will slide around on ice on their bellies, on land Rockhoppers prefer to hop about the rocky shores of their colony’s grounds – hence their common name.