Colorado is home to many different types of wildlife, ranging from massive moose to tiny mice. Some animals are more commonly seen around the Centennial State, while others remain elusive and hidden in their habitats.

An animal that's not found in Colorado, however, is penguins. Yet, that didn't stop a resident from turning to Reddit to ask whether or not this was the species of bird they'd seen near the South Platte River in Denver earlier this week.

Had a penguin possibly escaped from the zoo?

The comments that followed the puzzled person's post were pretty hilarious. After a series of responses asking how much weed the Denverite had smoked that morning, another user finally provided the correct species of bird that was seen near the Platte River - it was a Black-crowned night heron.

Black-crowned night herons do have black and white plumage and enjoy being around water, like penguins. Their hunched-over posture is also pretty similar to a penguin's stance. But besides a few resemblances, the two birds are entirely different feathered creatures. Night herons are the most widespread heron in the world.

Anish Lakkapragada/Unsplash
Anish Lakkapragada/Unsplash

Another Denver local explained that night-herons also hang out on the south side of the lake and on the island in Wash Park. They've also been seen in other places around the state, such as along the Colorado River, in the Denver Botanical Gardens, and in ponds around Avon.

More than 400 species of birds do live in Colorado, but that list does not include penguins.

Uncommon Animals of Colorado

It's pretty rare to see these types of wildlife in Colorado.

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