Grape, a male Humboldt penguin, lives in the Tobu Zoo in Miyashiro, Japan. The 20-year-old was in a relationship with a female penguin named Midori.
However, one tragic day, Midori left Grape for a younger penguin.
Grape was left heartbroken. As per zoo staffers, he began spending less time with other penguins to wander alone.
Fortunately, one day, due to a cross-promotion between the Tobu Zoo and the hit Japanese anime series "Kemono Friends," a cutout of one of the characters was installed in the penguin enclosure.
And that’s when things changed for Grape.
Suddenly, Grape started going to the spot where the cardboard cutout was put up.
“He might have mistaken it for staff, but it's certain that he goes there because he's attracted to something,” a zoo representative told BuzzFeed News.
However, the staff’s suspicions were confirmed when Grape one day stretched out his wings and pointed his beak up, something that penguins do before courting a partner.
Soon, Grape’s extraordinary story went viral in Japan. Even Ikuko Chikuta, the actress who voices the role of Hululu, the cutout, in "Kemono Friends," visited the zoo and posed for photos with Grape.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters