(Penguin Island, Antarctica) With public interest in Antarctic penguins
at an all-time high, it now appears that future scientific research into
the habits of these fascinating creatures could be threatened by legal troubles.
The first team of penguin researchers of the 2006 season were met by
a single representative of the "Darwin" brood who rushed the startled
scientists, yelling "Get out! We are fed up with you foreigners spying
on us every year!". With the flip of a flipper, a penguin identified
only as "Pete" chased the bewildered researchers back toward their ship.
Pete the penguin confided to this reporter, "It has gotten so we can't
eat, drop a load, or even fool around with the missus without some
yahoo taking a picture of the details, and we are sick of it.
Penguins have rights, too, you know. They call themselves scientists,
but all they are is a bunch of peeping Toms."
The scientists, obviously taken aback, seemed little concerned
about Pete's anger, but were amazed by the penguin's verbal skills.
"The rapid increase in vocabulary in only one year is astonishing",
said Prof. Topanga Wildwood, a penguin linguist from Rutgers University.
"I believe we might be witnessing the most rapid evolutionary advance
in a species ever recorded, possibly even eclipsing the well-documented
verbal skills of the bottlenose dolphin".
While other penguins in the brood looked on from a distance
and chatted amongst themselves, Pete intoned, "…we just want
to be left alone. If these bozos don't stop harassing us…well,
next time they see us, it will be in international court".
Prof. Wildwood exclaimed, "This is simply amazing! To be able to witness such a seminal event,
I can not wait until our next conference to report on these findings!",
apparently unfazed by the penguin representative's threat of legal action.
While researchers hurredly unloaded supplies and video equipment
from the ship, Pete was seen returning to the brood with a dismayed
look on his face, and muttering "pointy-headed idiots".
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