Zoo mourns death of love-struck penguin

Officials at Tobu zoo in Saitama, north of Tokyo, said Grape passed away after a brief illness with the object of his desire right by his side. He would have been around 80 in human years.

Earlier this year, the Humboldt penguin became smitten with a cut-out of Hululu -- a character from the Japanese anime "Kemono Friends" -- after being dumped by his former mate, a female called Midori.

A love-sick Grape found solace in Hululu and would stare at her for hours on end.

The plight of the romantic penguin went viral, earning Grape millions of fans worldwide.

A steady stream of mourners has visited Tobu zoo's penguin enclosure, many with flowers, since the tragic news broke on Friday, while officials erected a makeshift shrine to their fallen celebrity on Saturday.

"Little Grape had a wife called Midori but she left him and found herself a new husband," Tobu zoo's penguin caretaker Eri Nemoto told local media.

"We put the cardboard panel next to him to comfort him to the very end."

Tributes flooded in on social media too under the trending hashtag "Grape-kun" (little grape), with several users posting elaborate hand-drawn pictures of Grape gazing longingly at Hululu.

"Goodnight sweet prince," wrote one Twitter user, while another posted: "You charmed the world and made it a little brighter. See you, Space Cowboy."

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

City Hall reveals number of bar owners arrested after warning on noise pollution

City Hall reveals number of bar owners arrested after warning on noise pollution

Sakaja kicks out matatus plying these routes from Nairobi CBD [List]

Sakaja kicks out matatus plying these routes from Nairobi CBD [List]

DP Gachagua under fire for splashing Sh900,000 cash on student parties

DP Gachagua under fire for splashing Sh900,000 cash on student parties

DCI officers raid Nairobi alcohol distillery as staff flee & leave machines running

DCI officers raid Nairobi alcohol distillery as staff flee & leave machines running

Interior CS Kindiki warns criminals in his impromptu CBD visit

Interior CS Kindiki warns criminals in his impromptu CBD visit

Details of Nairobi-wide crackdown which started on Sunday night

Details of Nairobi-wide crackdown which started on Sunday night

How did Evangelist Ezekiel manage to fill Kasarani Stadium single-handedly?

How did Evangelist Ezekiel manage to fill Kasarani Stadium single-handedly?

Why KOT is impressed with President Ruto's daughter Charlene

Why KOT is impressed with President Ruto's daughter Charlene

Gachagua addresses reports of tension at State House and fallout with Ruto

Gachagua addresses reports of tension at State House and fallout with Ruto