Marco the penguin of Trieste
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An attraction, a symbol of Trieste. This was Marco, the penguin who believed himself to be human, and humans erroneously believed him to be a penguin. Marco lived in the Aquarium of Trieste from 1953 to 1985: 32 years, a record for a penguin. Almost thirty years after his death his memory lives on for the Triestini of many generations.
There isn’t a kid who didn’t meet Marco at least once while he was “receiving” guests in a tank in the Aquarium – built especially for him – but more often than not along the seafront where he would awkwardly cross the rail tracks on which the “cagoia” was lazily running, a nickname given to the train that a few times a day would transport goods from the central station to Campo Marzio.
Marco was always accompanied by his friends, the guardians, and his every whim was always satisfied and forgiven, even when he would peck a kid who was too eager to touch him. Marco would behave like a celebrity: if there was a juicy compensation (especially sardoni) he would flap his wings on command and whenever there was a camera in sight, he would strike a pose. The penguin arrived from South Africa on board the motor ship Europa . Many legends tell the story of his arrival.
This book, which was initially published in 2005, unravels a novel one: Marco was kidnapped. Either way, Marco has given us a real fairytale full of poignant sentiment and sympathy. And in the end of his placid existence, the old penguin was able to surprise us…