Stupid Animal of the Day

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Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Imagine you’re on a trip. You’re lost. Do you ask for directions? No, because you’re (probably) a man (according to demographics); you have a built-in compass. But would you let yourself get lost all the way to New Zealand?

If you answered no, that’s okay, we’re not judging; at some point, enough is enough, which brings us to our Stupid Animal of the Day: this penguin.

He’s healthy, well-fed and far from home. And he’s quickly become the most popular attraction on a New Zealand beach. If only he could talk.

A young [Emperor] penguin apparently took a wrong turn while swimming near Antarctica and endured a 2,000-mile journey to New Zealand, the first time in 44 years that one of the creatures has been sighted here in the wild.

The New Zealand government has decided a “hands-off” approach, meaning they won’t return it to Antarctica, which is where Emperor Penguins come from (don’t say you didn’t learn anything today). Nature will take its course.

Speaking of nature, indulge us for a moment in a bit of social commentary.

Why is this news? A penguin is where it shouldn’t be. It’s cute; it’s lost and it’s probably going to die. Big deal.*

The answer to the question is this: it’s 2011. In 1960; hell, in 1995, this isn’t news. Nowhere. Not bottom fold, not back page, and certainly not on ABC Nightly News. The information culture we live in has brought us this: a penguin in New Zealand. On top of that, not a very smart one, either. We, as a society, continue to reward dumb things.

Congratulations, everyone. We did it.

*Of course we here at JACK wish the penguin well. It may be dumb, but it’s still cute as hell.

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