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Did your flippered favourite make the cut?

elmo

This year Draco, Elmo and Mo will be battling it out for the prestigious title of Penguin of the Year 2019.

A record 7400 votes – more than three times at the same stage last year - have been received in this year’s competition, and the global interest has been high from the beginning.

While most of the votes cast in the first 24 hours came from New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom, people from 45 different countries had their say, including Yemen, Uganda, Brazil, Kuwait, Nepal, Austria, Bangladesh, Israel, Nicaragua, and Panama.

The biggest percentage of voters in this first stage have come from the US, Australia and NZ, in that order.

So what happens next? Voting for Penguin of the Year runs from today until 10pm next Wednesday 16 October, with the winner being announced next Friday, 18 October.

To vote for your favourite, go to www.nationalaquarium.co.nz, where you can also learn more about the finalists and what makes each of them unique.

Some of the comments on the voting forms have been amazing to read. Here’s some examples:

“I love the little penguins and the national aquarium! The naughty penguin of the month posts make me so happy - so much that when my boyfriend and I visited New Zealand in April we made a specific stop in Napier just to see them. We did a penguin feeding encounter and the whole experience was incredible, from the friendly and knowledgeable staff to (of course) the hilarious penguins. Dave was so funny during our visit, trying to nudge his way to the front of the line for more fish and attention! I just love him and he gets my vote for penguin of the year!” - USA

“This was the highlight of my day! Adorable descriptions on the penguins. Cannot wait to share this with my students!” - USA

“Sometimes when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back, sometimes when you stare into the face of evil you feel inspired and sometimes when you stare into the face of a nasty little penguin that steals from his blind girlfriend, you see a little of yourself.” – NZ

“Betty is a shining light in our dark times and an inspiration for all. May you climb the highest mountain, Betty, with your little penguin feet.” - Australia

“Dora made my anniversary trip to Napier extra special last year. I am an expat from America, but now an NZ resident with the surname Napier so visiting the city was already an exciting experience for me. But when me and my fiancé  went to the National Aquarium we were greeted and got many photos of a very friendly Dora and even splashed in the face a bit lol. I had never seen Little Blue Penguins until then. I will forever have a special place in my heart for this lovely lady. :) - NZ

About the finalists:

Draco
At 12, Draco is one of the National Aquarium’s oldest penguins. She was hit by a car while crossing the road, and was left with a head injury. Very friendly, she often visits other penguins in their burrows. She & Timmy are a couple, & she received Good Penguin of the Month recently for taking care of Burny’s egg, which Burny had left in her burrow, & also sticking up for Timmy when Tux tried to push him off the pier.

Elmo
Elmo is 18, the equivalent of 90-100 human years. She lost her right flipper after becoming entangled in a fishing line. As she is almost blind from cataracts, she doesn’t like leaving her burrow so often gets room service at feeding time. However, lately she has been coming out for her meals. She shares a burrow with Mo and Betty, and the keepers gently dip her in the water to help keep her nice and clean, and encourage preening.

Mo
A Penguin of the Year finalist for the second year in a row, Mo was Naughty Penguin of the Month last year more than any other. However, the ‘name and shame’ seems to have worked, and although still naughty, his behavior has improved, possibly the influence of his two girlfriends Elmo and Betty. Previous antics include hoarding nesting materials, stealing fish from other penguins, and recently, being super lazy. At 7, he’s the youngest of the finalists, and was abandoned as a chick.

This year Draco, Elmo and Mo will be battling it out for the prestigious title of Penguin of the Year 2019.

A record 7400 votes – more than three times at the same stage last year - have been received in this year’s competition, and the global interest has been high from the beginning.

While most of the votes cast in the first 24 hours came from New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom, people from 45 different countries had their say, including Yemen, Uganda, Brazil, Kuwait, Nepal, Austria, Bangladesh, Israel, Nicaragua, and Panama.

The biggest percentage of voters in this first stage have come from the US, Australia and NZ, in that order.

So what happens next? Voting for Penguin of the Year runs from today until 10pm next Wednesday 16 October, with the winner being announced next Friday, 18 October.

To vote for your favourite, go to www.nationalaquarium.co.nz, where you can also learn more about the finalists and what makes each of them unique.

Some of the comments on the voting forms have been amazing to read. Here’s some examples:

“I love the little penguins and the national aquarium! The naughty penguin of the month posts make me so happy - so much that when my boyfriend and I visited New Zealand in April we made a specific stop in Napier just to see them. We did a penguin feeding encounter and the whole experience was incredible, from the friendly and knowledgeable staff to (of course) the hilarious penguins. Dave was so funny during our visit, trying to nudge his way to the front of the line for more fish and attention! I just love him and he gets my vote for penguin of the year!” - USA

 

“This was the highlight of my day! Adorable descriptions on the penguins. Cannot wait to share this with my students!” - USA

 

“Sometimes when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back, sometimes when you stare into the face of evil you feel inspired and sometimes when you stare into the face of a nasty little penguin that steals from his blind girlfriend, you see a little of yourself.” – NZ

 

“Betty is a shining light in our dark times and an inspiration for all. May you climb the highest mountain, Betty, with your little penguin feet.” - Australia

 

“Dora made my anniversary trip to Napier extra special last year. I am an expat from America, but now an NZ resident with the surname Napier so visiting the city was already an exciting experience for me. But when me and my fiancé  went to the National Aquarium we were greeted and got many photos of a very friendly Dora and even splashed in the face a bit lol. I had never seen Little Blue Penguins until then. I will forever have a special place in my heart for this lovely lady. :) - NZ

 

About the finalists:

Draco

At 12, Draco is one of the National Aquarium’s oldest penguins. She was hit by a car while crossing the road, and was left with a head injury. Very friendly, she often visits other penguins in their burrows. She & Timmy are a couple, & she received Good Penguin of the Month recently for taking care of Burny’s egg, which Burny had left in her burrow, & also sticking up for Timmy when Tux tried to push him off the pier.

 

Elmo

Elmo is 18, the equivalent of 90-100 human years. She lost her right flipper after becoming entangled in a fishing line. As she is almost blind from cataracts, she doesn’t like leaving her burrow so often gets room service at feeding time. However, lately she has been coming out for her meals. She shares a burrow with Mo and Betty, and the keepers gently dip her in the water to help keep her nice and clean, and encourage preening.

 

Mo

A Penguin of the Year finalist for the second year in a row, Mo was Naughty Penguin of the Month last year more than any other. However, the ‘name and shame’ seems to have worked, and although still naughty, his behavior has improved, possibly the influence of his two girlfriends Elmo and Betty. Previous antics include hoarding nesting materials, stealing fish from other penguins, and recently, being super lazy. At 7, he’s the youngest of the finalists, and was abandoned as a chick.

13 November 2019

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