New Zealand Hosts 'Penguathlon'

Event draws attention to world's penguin capital
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted May 12, 2009 3:37 PM CDT
New Zealand is home to nine of the 16 living species of penguins.   (AP Photo/New Zealand Science Media Centre, Bastiaan Star)
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(Newser) – Penguins and people are swapping places at New Zealand’s Penguathlon, a sort of penguin Olympics. As the birds face off in icy versions of soccer, Frisbee, surfing and waddle races, spectators are invited to try waddling themselves in giant penguin feet. The month-long event is meant to showcase how the world’s penguin capital is enriching the animals’ lives, the Telegraph reports.

“New Zealand has the greatest diversity of penguin species and is arguably the best place in the world to see them,” says a tourism official. “The Penguathlon gives people a fantastic chance to get up close with them as well as gaining a better understanding about their welfare.”