Thursday, February 9, 2012

Roast Beef Visits Nursing Home

Roast Beef had a most unusual outing in yesterday. The well-traveled African penguin has been specially trained to travel to schools and community-based events in his mobile, air conditioned cubicle. His handlers say he's a natural under the spotlight; he doesn’t get agitated too easily and always seems to enjoy the attention. But yesterday's special trip to a nursing home was a first for him.

Roast beef is no stranger to the camera. Maybe you saw him on billboards around Boston back in 2010.

This outreach event at the Hannah Duston Rehabilitation Center was prompted by the correspondence of a former Miss Massachusetts who is now a resident of the center in Haverhill, MA. Sandra Sterling had painted a poster of several penguins and sent a copy to Aquarium staff along with a letter stating how much she enjoyed the tuxedoed birds. Aquarium staff were  genuinely moved by the correspondence and wondered how to  properly acknowledge her. With a little thinking out of the box, Aquarium staff wondered why just bring Roast Beef mostly to just children—penguins are clearly loved by all ages!

A still from the coverage of Roast Beef's visit on Fox 25

So Wednesday morning, instead of a well-trained therapy dog making the rounds of a rehabilitation center, a five pound penguin entertained the residents of Hannah Duston. Roast Beef met the former Miss Massachusetts and the pair posed for a couple pictures, both pros in front of the camera.

In fact, there were several cameras on hand. The event was attended by several news outlets. Here's a smattering of the coverage of this special event:
Animal Tracks on the Today Show
Fox 25
Boston Herald
CBS Boston

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