Local News

iPad-Playing Penguins at the Aquarium of the Pacific

Take an old obsolete iPad.

Load up a cat game app.

Place in front of a couple of young curious penguins and you have the recipe for a fun time.

While most of the maturing penguins at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach are busy trying to impress the opposite sex, the youngsters are turning to other forms of entertainment.

As “enrichment” for the curious and not-quite-of-age penguins in the June Keyes Penguin exhibit, aviculturalists loaded the “Game for Cats” app on an old iPad and essentially set up a mini arcade for the penguins, according to the Aquarium’s blog.

“Just like cats, penguins are very curious and the idea of these birds following a virtual mouse on a screen was just too appealing,” the blog states.

When young Jeremy and Newsom noticed their new toy last week, they waddled over to get a closer look.

Jeremy tapped the screen a few times, but Newsom had a blast and quickly became the resident high-scorer.

In the video, Newsom focuses on the moving mouse, reacts to the squeaks and tries repeatedly to pick it up with his beak.

The $1.5-million, 3,000-square-foot penguin exhibit debuted last year and features a colony of Magellanic penguins.

Four of the penguins were found starving and stranded on warm Brazilian beaches, victims of global warming, overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction.

The remainder came from existing exhibits across the nation.

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