You would think animals do not have feelings until you hear some of the things they do. This particular 20-year-old male penguin was heartbroken after his girlfriend, another penguin with whom he was coupled for nearly 10 years, left him for a younger penguin. Now, he has decided to move on from the hurt and has become attached to a cardboard cut-out of a female anime character...

Grape is a male Humboldt penguin that resides at the Tobu Zoo in Miyashiro, Japan. He arrived the zoo 10 years ago as part of a couple with a female penguin called Midori. Recently, Midori met and fell in love with a younger male penguin and moved on, leaving Grape depressed for a very long time.

Zoo staff became concerned for Grape and noticed he began spending less time with other penguins, preferring to wander off alone. As fate would have it, there was a cross-promotion between the zoo and the hit anime series titled Kemono Friends.

A cardboard cut-out of one of the characters in the movie was placed in the penguin enclosure and immediately Grape saw the cardboard cut-out of Hululu, he fell in love with her and began to spend most of his time there, staring at her until zoo staff noticed.  Before the cut-out was installed, he rarely ever went to that spot.
"He might have mistaken it for staff, but it's certain that he goes there because he's attracted to something," a representative of Tobu Zoo told BuzzFeed News.

Grape has been observed standing before the cut-out with his wings outstretched and his beak pointed up; this stance is a courtship ritual in the penguin world, and an indicator that the penguin is prepared to take the relationship to the next level.  Grape has become a sensation in Japan since photos of him and his new love interest hit the internet. A photo of Grape standing behind a net sparked a rumour that the penguin had become so enamoured with his new love interest to the extent that he no longer eats and had to be forcibly separated from the cut-out. However, a Zoo representative told Anime News Network that these rumours were false, and that the net is put up daily after the park closes to ensure the penguins' safety.

Well, one thing is certain, a cardboard can't abandon you so Grape's heart is safe with his new found love. Or maybe not! There are reports that the cut-off might be removed after the movie production ends on June 25 and if this really happens, Grape might be in for another heartbreak, though there are hopes that the zoo will make an exception and leave Hululu.

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