The Great Unexplained Mass Penguin Migration of '02-'03
Five years ago, in December 2002, the penguins at the San Francisco Zoo went nuts:
They've all been swimming since Christmas Eve, whirling around the pool like tuxedos in a washing machine. No one knows why they started or when they'll stop. All they know is that the zoo's Penguin Island has turned into a very chaotic place.
"Round and round they go," [penguin caretaker Jane] Tollini said. "They almost make me dizzy."
...What she can't tell you is why her birds won't get out of the water -- especially the "geezers" and "old ladies" she suspects are getting pretty tired by now.
One is a humpback, some have bone spurs, and nine of the original penguins, back in the early '80s, made a real migration along the coast of South America -- putting in six months and 2,000 miles.
"Now they're thinking, 'Didn't we just see that palm tree?' " Tollini said. "Some of them haven't swum this much in five years."