We love stories about “fish out of water,” but how about a “bird out of Antarctica?” That is even better! Meet LaLa, a king penguin who left his cold home to live as a member of a human family in a hot and humid town in Japan. During the day, he’d leave his extremely air-conditioned room and go to the local fish market, where he’d eat a mackerel snack while wearing a penguin-shaped backpack.
So, how did LaLa end up in Japan? According to legend, he was discovered trapped in a fishing net with an injured beak and wing. LaLa was discovered by a fisherman who kept him on his boat. When the man returned, he gave the bird to the Nishimotos. They treated his wounds and nursed him back to health. LaLa never left his caregivers, so they built him a refrigerated room beneath their house.
In a charming video shot in the 1990s, LaLa walks alone from his house to the fish market, much to the delight of the local fishmonger. Later, a neighbor cools him down by spraying him with water from a garden hose. LaLa is seen spending some quality time with the Nishimotos after his big outing, scratching under his chin.
Unfortunately, LaLa died in 1998. His memory, however, lives on—watch LaLa in the video below.
Watch this adorable penguin video of a bird named LaLa flying through the streets of Japan.