Pierre, a rockhopper penguin living at Perth Zoo in Australia, knows a thing or two about quarantine life.
After likely enduring a rough swim from Indian or South Atlantic Ocean islands, where rockhoppers are typically found, Pierre was discovered worse for wear on a beach in southwest Australia. Rescuers connected him to his new home at the zoo.
He's being very well taken care of, but Pierre can't be released back into the wild just yet for his own safety. After what he's been through, Pierre's coat isn't waterproof due to feather molting problems (meaning his annual feather molt never completed for the season), so he's being kept in isolation while he recovers. Northern rockhopper penguins are currently endangered, making Pierre's full recovery that much more important.
This is 2020 -- even the penguins must maintain social distancing protocols.
In between spray-bottle baths, weight check-ins and some hopping that looks like it could be some very fun physical therapy, Pierre likes to take a load off and watch his favorite shows.
Pierre gets set up with an iPad to watch programs with one very specific distinction: penguin protagonists. From documentaries to livestreams from penguin exhibits around the world to even a claymation children's show called "Pingu," Pierre gets his daily fix of friends. As he must be a little lonely in his isolation quarters, seeing some of his own kind on screen is a welcome source of entertainment.
"We are spending a lot of time with him, providing enrichment and ensuring his days are fulfilled," Jorden Teo, a spokesman for Perth Zoo, told Insider. "Enrichment activities are important for all animals. It engages them, ensures all their senses are stimulated and helps us provide the best possible level of care."
As we watch Pierre's month of quarantine, we can't help but compare it to our own stay-at-home lifestyles: We take long baths, we eat because we're bored, sometimes we'll begrudgingly do an at-home workout...and then we want to watch our shows and stare at our screens.
Here's wishing Pierre a full and speedy recovery!