A South Korean amusement park today risked the fury of animal rights campaigners by making penguins wear Christmas costumes and parade for the amusement of onlookers.
To visitors' delight, the family of nine jackass penguins were marched in fancy dress through Everland, South Korea's most popular amusement park, in Yongin, near Seoul.
Some were dressed as Santa, others as Christmas trees, and one, bizarrely, as a zookeeper.
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Cute? Visitors at the Everland amusement park in South Korea take pictures of the penguins on parade
Or cruel? The flightless birds have been dressed in Santa Claus costumes - and one, left, as a zookeeper
Do they even know it's Christmas? Animal rights groups might be angry at the way these birds are exploited
Waddle: This kind of penguin is found in the wild only on the coasts of Africa, and is a protected species
Christmas spirit: The parade was led by the penguin keepers, who also dressed for the festive occasion
Delighted visitors jostled to get pictures of the adorable birds, which in the wild are usually found exclusively off the coast of Africa. Named for their braying-like call, jackass penguins are a protected species after their numbers dwindled in the face of excessive hunting and loss of habitat.
The parade, led by zookeepers also dressed for the occasion, was part of Everland's Christmas countdown. One penguin trainer told NBC News that it was a way to give people a merry Christmas.
Poker face: It is difficult to read the emotions these penguins may be betraying about their festive humiliation
Doing it for the kids: Delighted youngsters gawp at the penguin parade as it ambles past
Spirit of the season: One penguin trainer told NBC News that it was a way to give people a merry Christmas
Foxy: A keeper in Father Christmas fancy dress holds a contented looking fennec fox he's brought along
Where's the mistletoe? A penguin leans into the fox as if to give the animal a peck on the cheek, boom boom
Christmas countdown: Everland's penguin parade is to greet guests every day until the end of the year
South Korea, home to one of Asia's largest Christian populations, is the only east Asian nation that recognises Christmas as a national holiday.
Even among believers in other religions, it is a time of the year when many Koreans celebrate. Considered a romantic time for couples, restaurants, theme parks and shows are often busy.
For non-Christian Koreans, Christmas Day is also a popular shopping day.
Everland's Christmas penguin parade is to greet guests every day until the end of the year.