An elderly penguin has fallen in love in a Japanese zoo. Their love, however, is forbidden. Grape, a 20-year-old penguin living at Tobu Zoo in Saitama, Japan, seems to be smitten with an anime character.
A cardboard cutout shows a character from the anime series Kemono Friends, a show about animals that turned into human-like creatures. It was added to the penguin enclosure as part of an advertising campaign for the show, and to raise money for a zoo impacted by an earthquake, but it soon drew the adoration of one penguin in particular.
According to Anime News Network:
Grape is considered elderly by penguin age standards, but he’s not too old for love. However, his fixation has gotten quite serious with staff saying he gazes upon his new paramour for long periods of time. Visitors and the internet began to worry about Grape’s health when a new picture that appeared online around Thursday showed that he was separated from his love by a net. Rumors began spreading that Grape was skipping meal time to stare at the character cutout, and that may be why the net was used.
Another photograph shows Grape standing in front of the cutout with his wings are raised his beak pointed upward, a pose that’s similar the standard courtship pose for penguins, known as the “bray call.”
There’s no word on how Grape will cope with the end of this ad campaign, when his beloved is taken away again. Maybe he should take notes from the last living male white rhino, and download Tinder.