#45 ... Check
Okay, okay, so I didn't actually pet the penguin. See, there were signs all over providing sound, even compelling, scientific advice against it--from the delicate ecological balance of this single-beach sanctuary to the potentially corrosive effects of my skin oils on the critical secretions coating their feathers. And others relying on more visceral appeals--don't know what these penguins' pet parasite might do in my innards ... don't really want to find out. Plus, the little guys were being so tolerant, magnanimous even, I figured I should at least return the courtesy. But I was close enough to.
Yeah, I'm pretty much just rationalizing. I really wish I knew what those feathers actually felt like. Ethical behaviour can be so...unsatisfying.
Oh well, I'm still checking it off the list.