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Monday Cute: The New Zealand Aquarium Would Like You to Know How Naughty (and How Great) Its Penguins Are Being Right Now

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The National Aquarium of New Zealand is clearly proud of their community of penguins. Some of those birds, however, don’t always hold themselves to peak penguin standards. So the aquarium has taken to posting signs informing the public of its Naughty Penguin of the Month. (Don’t worry, though. In truth, they’re all good birds, so they also name an exceptionally Good Bird of the month.)

This month, a very naughty penguin named Timmy went swimming during his molt. As someone who spent her college years working at children’s summer camps and has therefore had to deal with swimming pool “code browns,” I would definitely encourage Timmy to respect pool rules.

I am super proud of Timmy’s buddy Pepper, though, for taking a snack from a public friend for the first time.

The aquarium has been doing this for quite some time, so you can see the behavior they reward and discourage. Like stealing fish vs. waiting patiently for fish. (Extra ups, Betty, for being such a good swimmer.)

Check out this v. good, punctual eater. Well done, Captain. (You’ll get there, Pepper.)

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Dora, we all just want the best for you.

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Last month’s Mr. Mac is probably my all-time favorite, helping his blind girlfriend find her burrow, and I admit, I had to google what a penguin burrow even was. 

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Also, Tux, dude, I know Timmy sometimes molts during swim time, but please let’s not set back his pier walks!

Well done, Good Penguins! And for you Naughty Penguins, you’re on the right track. Just less pushing, molting, and stealing food. Most of which–I don’t know, maybe not the molting–are good lessons for all of us to keep in mind.

(image: Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.