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Livestream of Australia’s penguin parade brings smiles around the world

Phillip Island, Penguin Parade August 2019

Phillip Island, Penguin Parade August 2019 – Photo courtesy Flickr user Larry Koester (CC BY 2.0)

Some good news to lift spirits in Australia and the world during COVID-19 related shutdowns and other travel restrictions. Travel, hospitality and entertainment website Time Out Melbourne explained:

It’s a rite of passage for most visitors to Melbourne – make the two-hour drive down to Phillip Island and see Australia’s largest colony of friendly, frolicking fairy penguins.

[…]lucky for us, Phillip Island Nature Parks is making sure we can see those scurrying little creatures from home.

Their pun tagline ‘It’s a peng-win’ has several associations. Peng can mean: a mythical Chinese bird; an abbreviation for penguin; or Jamaican slang for high-quality marijuana.

People from around the globe looked forward to watching. Australia’s ambassador to Cyprus was one of them:

Lisa Simpson hoped to join in from London:

Jag Bani, a Punjabi language newspaper in India, shared this with its Twitter followers:

Australia: 770 thousand people worldwide watch ‘Penguin Parade’ online

The presenter gives a running commentary, explaining aspects such as the Little Penguin being the smallest species. It is also known as the Fairy Penguin. Questions could also be posed in comments on the livestreams. Thousands have obliged. Waddling has been a popular topic.

In May, BBC sports commentator Andrew Cotter had created this send-up:

Anyway, it was high tide when the penguins landed at the Phillip Island Nature Parks’ viewing area when the photo at the top was taken. It was during the second sunset livestream at 18:00 EST or 07:00 UTC. The visitor centre is currently closed due to lockdowns in the State of Victoria.

Over one million viewers tuned in on the first two nights. 602 penguins crossed the beach on the second night. Yes, someone has the job of counting them.

Livestream of Phillip Island Penguin parade

Phillip Island penguin parade – Author's photo of livestream 26 August 2020

While it’s available, you can watch the livestream on YouTube or Facebook.

You can also watch a recording of the event:

There is also a penguin colony in a Melbourne inner-suburb at the St Kilda Pier, a favourite haunt of local jogger Spiderman. The public viewing area is also closed during the lockdown.

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