Seven Rockhopper Penguins
Seven rockhopper penguins, far from their homes,
swept by strong currents and each all alone,
arrive in a new place all warm sand and foam
Are collected and cared for at their Two Oceans home.
A sad fate persists that they cannot return
to their cliff faces and pebbles and the big Inca tern.
Although this may be, we try hard to learn
what we’re able to do to extinguish the yearn.
So every morning at dawn, we set up the grids,
we take them off of the beach and give them their vits.
We walk them out of Eco as they waddle in pairs
down the long corridor and up the stairs.
From the stairs to the roof and with a little help,
we march the rockhopper penguins to the forest of kelp.
They spend the day in the water, swimming at speed
and once in a while they come up to feed.
When the swimming is over and the day starts to wane,
for the tired little rockies it’s home time again.
Down the stairs and through the door,
the penguins march onto the Eco floor.
They wade through the crowds and onto the beach,
all while avoiding the public’s large feet.
Once back on the beach, a stick pile for each,
they flap and they bray in a cacophony speech.
So this is the story of the Two Oceans birds,
who march and waddle in their cute little herd.
So when you’re at the Aquarium in the afternoon,
you might be lucky to see us on the move.
Just remember to be aware of the biting beaks,
and let us back through, back onto our beach.
About the author, Simon Leigh
Simon Leigh is one of our Young Biologist course graduates. After he finished the course (generously sponsored by De Beers Marine) in 2006, he became a behind-the-scenes volunteer at the Aquarium. Once Simon finished school he went on to study at Rhodes University. In 2013 he completed, with honours, a Bachelor of Science in ichthyology and fisheries science. Simon is currently employed on a contractual basis in the Aquarium’s curatorial department.