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Zoo's penguin afraid of water

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LEEK, England, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Keepers at a British zoo said a resident penguin with a fear of water has become a hit with curious park visitors.

Staff at Blackbrook Zoological Park in Leek, England, said 11-year-old Kentucky the Humbolt penguin developed a phobia of water because he was born a runt and had problems with losing feathers too quickly, making the water too cold for his comfort, The Sun reported Thursday.

"It's a bit too cold for him in the water, so he spends all his time on the rocks just walking around," said Adam Stevenson, the zoo's assistant bird keeper. "It's a bit of a pain having to go over especially to him to feed him because he won't go in the water, but he's a real character and everyone at the zoo loves him. We've got one of the biggest collections of birds in Europe here but Kentucky is a bit of a crowd pleaser."

"He has become quite famous because it's quite unusual for penguins not to like the water," he said.

Stevenson said keepers douse Kentucky with water at least twice a day to keep his feathers healthy and clean.

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