In a somewhat surprising move, the London Zoo has proposed, possibly slightly tongue in cheek, that 33 St Mary Axe, known to London’s cabbies and therefore all the world, as The Gherkin – that it should be adapted to the latest penguin specifications.
London Zoo’s spokesperson notes: “We know it’s audacious, but let’s be honest – penguins are a lot more interesting than gherkins!”

Apart from Hyenas and humans, animals are not generally known for having a sense of humour. Lions, for instance, are renown for not being able to see the joke, and have an inflated sense of their own importance in the world. See video below. But for a group of defenseless creatures like the humble penguin (the penguins above are the Humboldt penguin, not humble…), the London Zoo has a long tradition of taking the piss out of them. Recently they installed a diving board for the penguins – apparently they love it. As does their audience.

It’s all part of the Olympic support visible in all parts of the community. Efforts by the Zoo to get the penguins to enter into the spirit with water polo and synchronised swimming have not, it appears, been successful. Yet.

Many years ago, of course, the Zoo installed the world’s most famous penguin pool, designed by famous architect Berthold Lubetkin, and famous engineer Ove Arup – a total work of art for us humans, it seems that we now feel sorry for the penguins and have removed them from the bewildering double spiral, and given them a sandy beach instead.

Here’s the lion: watch it here.

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