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Escaped penguin spotted alive, healthy and free

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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The escaped penguin, last seen near Tokyo Bay (Photo: Tokyo Sea Life Park)

A young penguin that pulled off a miraculous escape from an aquatic park in Japan has been spotted alive and well in the nearby Tokyo Bay.

"You can see it's got the same ring around its flipper and identical facial patterns," said Kazuhiro Sakamoto, deputy director of the Tokyo Sea Life Park. "It didn't look like it has gotten thinner over the past two months, or been without food. It doesn't seem to be any weaker. So it looks as if it's been living quite happily in the middle of Tokyo Bay."

Back in March, the 1-year-old Humboldt penguin, formerly known as "Number 337," scaled a 13-foot-high wall and snuck through a barbed wire fence before fleeing the Tokyo Sea Life Park. Because of its young age, the park has not yet been able to determine the penguin's gender.

Although the Tokyo Bay reportedly has an abundant source of food available for the penguin, many observers feared for its health. However, in new video footage obtained by the Japan Coast Guard, the penguin is seen "frolicking" in the bay, according to Reuters.

In the days after the penguin's escape, the park received hundreds of informant tips claiming to have spotted the young penguin. However, most of the reports turned out to be false.

Park officials say they believe the penguin is most likely feeding on fish in the bay during the daylight then returning to the shore to rest during the night. Sakamoto attributed Number 337's escape to its inherent "sense of adventure."

His flight of fancy may even trump that of another group of penguins who caught a ride, first class, on a Delta Airlines flight, back in March.

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Escaped penguin spotted alive, healthy and free

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