Famous penguin Sir Nils Olav gets promoted

ARGUABLY the world’s most famous penguin, Sir Nils Olav, has been promoted once more.

Olav was raised from the rank of brigadier to major-general during a ceremony at Edinburgh Zoo.

More than 160 members of the King’s Guard Band & Drill Team of Norway attended the event and bestowed Olav with his latest honour.

The penguin’s full title is now “Major General Sir Nils Olav III, Baron of the Bouvet Islands and official mascot of His Majesty the King’s Guard of Norway”.

David Field, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the charity that runs Edinburgh Zoo, said: “We are honoured to host His Majesty the King’s Guard Band & Drill Team of Norway once again as they return to Edinburgh Zoo to bestow this prestigious new title upon our king penguin, Sir Nils Olav.

“It is a very proud moment and represents the ongoing close collaboration between our two countries, Scotland, and Norway.”

Staff Sergeant Fredrik Gresseth from the King’s Guard Band and Drill Team of Norway added: “Sir Nils Olav is the mascot of His Majesty the King’s Guard and was adopted during one of the band and drill team’s participation at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

“The tradition of sending Nils Olav and his family fish, Christmas cards and visiting him during the unit’s participation at the tattoo have been an important part of the battalion’s history.

“His promotion this August, for good conduct and for being a superb example for the rest of the penguins at the Edinburgh Zoo, is a milestone in his career as mascot for the guard.

“The guardsmen of the drill team look forward to this rare occasion of being inspected by their own mascot, while the band will set the atmosphere worthy of a knighted king penguin.”

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s wildlife and conservation pages.

Plus, don’t miss wildlife columnist Andy Dobson’s article in the September issue of Scottish Field magazine.