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‘The penguin’s distressed. We’d better go.’

By Robert Pimm

Financial Times, November 20 2004

I’ve never been attacked by a penguin before.  It’s scarier than you’d think.  Close up, the yellow eyes, red beak and ear-piercing shriek are more dramatic than anything in Jurassic Park.  Now I know why the Maori call the yellow-eyed penguin Hoiho, or “noise shouter”.

“She’s distressed,” says Tricia, our guide.  “We’d better go.”

New Zealand is full of magnificent scenery – but I didn’t get any good Penguin shots – Photo RP

We turn to leave the hide.  Everyone’s glaring at the photographer whose noisy auto-rewind spooked the penguin’s chick.  He doesn’t notice.  He’s too busy grinning at the thought of the images he’s just captured.

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