While it is generally not recommended to keep penguins as pets, there was one family who didn’t shy away from having one in their home, making it perhaps one of the most unique pets people have ever seen. Meet Lala, an adorable King penguin who lived for years with a Japanese family in Shibushi City.
Lala was reportedly saved by the family in 1996 after he was caught and injured in a fishing net. They took him in, nursed him back to health, and even provided him with an air-conditioned room. Over time, the penguin became very attached to the family and refused to leave, so they decided to keep him as a pet. They did their best to ensure he had a comfortable life.
Numerous journalists from around the globe reached out to the family to interview them. In 2006, when Lala was approximately 10 years old, Real TV produced a short documentary about his life. The documentary showed him living in his own air-conditioned room and freely roaming the streets of his town.
After the family took him to the market for the first time, Lala developed a strong desire to go back on his own (naturally). They observed that he enjoyed walking and was intelligent, so the family decided to teach him to wear a tiny backpack and walk alone to the market to fetch his favorite meal.
When Lala embarked on his journey with his backpack on, he had a penchant for heading straight to the fish store. He would personally select his own fish and even bring some home for a meal. It’s evident that the sight of a penguin casually strolling around with a tiny backpack is a rare and unusual occurrence.
Lala had a deep fondness for putting on his penguin-shaped backpack and heading to the market to purchase sardines and mackerel on a daily basis. He also held great affection for his family and cherished his air-conditioned room. Regrettably, Lala has since passed away, but his memory lives on to this day.