P . . . P . . . P . . . PICK UP A PENGUIN

From THE LOCAL (Germany):

Sandy, an independent penguin if there ever was one, who lives in Münster Zoo, has eaten sumptuously from the smorgasbord of love, and never let convention or public sanction determine which dishes she tastes. Her history of serial monogamy includes everything from cross-species relationships to a stint as a "cougar" mom. She found love early in life. She fell hard for a human at the age of two when she laid eyes on Peter Vollbracht, a much older zookeeper. For the next ten years, she was almost constantly at his side.

But love can be fickle. When illness kept Peter away from the zoo for six weeks, Sandy’s eye began to wander and soon it landed upon someone of her own genus, Tom. Although he was much younger, the couple were soon blessed with two chicks. Her happiness was sadly fleeting, however, and when a bacterial infection took Tom to an early grave, Sandy found herself on her own with two kids. Single motherhood was not to her liking; the babes were fostered out.

Not one to stay home by the phone on a Saturday night, Sandy soon returned to her first love, zookeeper Vollbracht, lavishing him with affection and delighting the crowds at the zoo again with her displays of love.

“She was looking for someone, and I was there,” Vollbracht told the magazine Der Spiegel back in 2009.

But that was then, this is now. Sandy has found happiness among her own kind again, this time with the older and wiser penguin, Hermann. The couple is busy these days gathering twigs for the nest they’re building together. Zoo staff hope that this love affair is the real thing and that Sandy won’t find her attention wandering when some new young thing joins the enclosure and that Hermann won’t shuffle off this mortal coil just yet.

“Up to now, she’s hasn’t really had that much luck with men,” said zoo spokesperson Ilona Zühlke.

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