Adorable Penguin in Japan Walks Into Town To Get a Fish From His Local Market

LaLa the Penguin on the Streets of Japan

Screenshot: YouTube

We love a “fish out of water” story, but how about a “bird out of the Antarctic?” That sounds even better! Meet LaLa, a king penguin who left his frigid home and made his way to a hot and humid town in Japan where he lived as a member of a human family. During his days, he’d leave his extremely air-conditioned room and venture to the local fish market—wearing a penguin-shaped backpack, of course—and enjoy a mackerel snack.

So, how did LaLa find himself in Japan? As the story goes, he was found trapped in a fishing net with an injured beak and wing. A fisherman discovered LaLa and kept him on the boat with him. When the man returned, he brought the bird to the Nishimoto family. They took care of his injuries and nursed him back to health. LaLa never left his caregivers, and so they built a refrigerated room for him under their house.

In a charming video filmed in the 1990s, LaLa treks from his home to the fish market—all by himself—much to the delight of the local fishmonger. A neighbor later cools him off by spraying him with water from a garden hose. After LaLa's big outing, he’s seen spending some quality time with the Nishimotos as they scratch under his chin.

Sadly, LaLa passed away in 1998. But, his memory lives on—watch LaLa in the video below.

Watch this cute penguin video of a bird named LaLa traversing the streets of Japan.

h/t: [Reddit]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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