What is your impression of the penguins in the zoo?
They… stay in a group and waddle by a small pool? They get fed? They…probably… swim? Not so sure?
Then let’s change the question: are they the animals you would definitely check out at a zoo?
If your answer is no, is it because you think the penguins are boring? And if that’s the case, is it because the penguins are bored? Are the penguins boring and bored by nature?
Actually, penguins are curious and surprisingly agile in the water. But they hardly display those characteristics in front of the visitors. As a result, visitors end up believing that the penguins are boring.
Asahiyama Zoo in Japan knew that the penguins were pretty cool. So they decided to unleash their natural coolness by literally “unleashing” them.
Instead of confining them in a secluded area 24/7, they started a program called “Penguin walk” in winter. Freed from the cage and released to the corridors, the penguins get to take a walk for about 30~60 minutes everyday. Their food is about 500 yards away, but they are allowed to walk at their own will and pace. Once freed in the environment, they remember their curiosity. It’s instantaneous.
Asahiyama Zoo was once a small municipal zoo in a Northern town of Hokkaido, Japan. It revolutionized the way the animals are exhibited at a zoo by focusing on unleashing each animal’s natural/inherent abilities.