Pugwash the penguin rejects his 'bride'

A jack-the-lad jackass penguin at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park has found himself in the middle of a tangled love triangle with too many women on his flippers! With enough twists and turns to suit any soap scriptwriter, Pugwash the South African

A jack-the-lad jackass penguin at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park has found himself in the middle of a tangled love triangle with too many women on his flippers!With enough twists and turns to suit any soap scriptwriter, Pugwash the South African Blackfoot, has gone from lonely bachelor to the enclosure Casanova, much to the annoyance of his male rivals.The Gazette reported three years ago how park staff were searching for an unattached female for "Puggy" after his mate of eight years died. The appeal went nationwide following our story and Puggy even got to flirt with Fern Britton on the This Morning show, but no potential mate was ever found.Finally a potential mate was found, but no sooner had Shadow, the "mail order bride" arrived from Living Coasts at Paignton, than the two-timing jackass began an "affair" with the "wife" of his best friend!Such behaviour might be all too common among humans, but is nearly unheard of for penguins, since they form close bonded pairs and mate for life... usually.Penguin and sea lion keeper Nikki Morrison explained the tangled web:"The loan was done and we hoped Pugwash and Shadow would pair up and it would be as simple as that," she said."Unfortunately... while he was on his own, another couple - Scampi and Malibu - let him spend a lot of time with them. "Although Malibu had shown a little interest towards him, we thought they were just good friends, but when the new one arrived she became very defensive of Puggy - and now spends more time with him than her own partner."The younger newcomer, however, has not been put off by the "older woman" and seems determined to wrap her reluctant "fiance" around her little flipper."Those two are still hanging out together and we think she is just waiting for her opportunity!" said Nikki."They have definitely shown an interest in each other but at the moment Pugwash is loving the attention of both girls."Normally there's only one love interest for a penguin because they are monogamous. There would be cause for concern if Malibu began neglecting Scampi, but she seems to be keeping them both happy at the moment."And as long as the penguins are happy, we're happy!"It is hoped when Shadow becomes fully mature next year, events will resolve themselves naturally.But Pugwash has never been one to follow convention - he was hand reared and spent a long time convinced he was human before keepers could integrate him with the rest of the penguins.


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