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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sir Nils Olav Inspects His Troops

Penguins have long been the stars of Scotland's Edinburgh Zoo.  The black-and-white Antarctic birds were first exhibited at the zoo in 1914, captured by a whaling expedition and donated to the zoo.  In 1919, the zoo became the first to breed penguins in captivity with its hatching of a king penguin chick.  In 1951, several penguins escaped and wandered about the zoo, a comical incident which has since been replicated on a (planned) daily basis as the zoo's famous Penguin Parade.

Among the illustrious animals that the zoo has provided a home for over the years is Sir Nils Olav, a former mascot of the Norwegian army, later installed at the zoo.  Sir Nils, who has a bigger-than-life-sized statue on zoo grounds, was promoted every time the corps visited Scotland.  Sit Nils, alas, has since passed away, but he has a successor who has been deemed worthy of his honor and titles.  Just the other day, he was promoted again when the Norwegians came to town.  As befitting a penguin of his rank, he immediately set about inspecting the troops.

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