Patrick meets a penguin!

His name is Cayenne (like the pepper). He’s the 3 month old penguin that I met at the Georgia Aquarium.
We got to walk around the aquarium and see all sorts of animals.  I got to touch a sting ray.  We also go to see otters. We got to see a giant whale shark and lots of other big fish.

But my favorite part of the day was touching Cayenne.
First we had to check in and wait for the penguin trainer to come get our group.  There were six other people in our group.
Then we went upstairs to a room with penguin stuff everywhere.  We had to put all of our stuff away, like cell phones, watches and hanging jewelry because they didn’t want the penguin to poke at it.
We waited for a few minutes then the penguin trainer came in with the penguin walking with him.  He picked up Cayenne and put him on a table that looked like an ice berg.  We all got to stand up and take pictures with him.  We were not allowed to touch him yet because he and to be retrained.  He had to get used to being in the room with new people so he didn’t bite us.

After everyone got pictures, the trainer put the penguin in the middle of the floor while we all sat around him in a circle. The first person the penguin walked over to was…me!
When he walked over to me, the trainer said I could pet him.  I could only pet him on his back, because the other places are sensitive. I was so excited and really happy to touch the penguin.  I really wanted to cry but didn’t.  The penguin felt softer than the softest kitten ever.
The trainer picked Cayenne up to move him to the other side of the room so other people could pet him, but he walked back over to me again!
I think he liked me because I was wearing a penguin shirt.  Or because he knows I’m the penguin king.
The trainer kept picking the penguin up and moving him again and again, but he kept coming back to me.
Cayenne is an African penguin who lives along the beaches of south Africa.  There are only about 5500 of these sorts of penguins left.  They are worried about extinction due to oil spills and people moving to the beaches where they live.
Cayenne was born at the aquarium and has a problem with his left eye.  He can’t see out of it very well. They expect him to live more than 20 years.
I hope that I can go to school to be a penguin trainer and go back to take care of Cayenne.
I’m just so happy that I got to meet him and it was the best day ever!

Patrick meets a penguin at the Georgia Aquarium.

Patrick meets a penguin at the Georgia Aquarium.

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