Success for penguins!

15 January 2019

The planned use of live penguins to promote a busy ice rink in London has been cancelled due to your support!

On 11th January we spotted a disturbing news article promoting an event using wild animals in a busy ice rink in central London. A group of Humboldt penguins were going to be featured as an attraction, right in the middle of the skating rink, protected only by a hip-height fence.

Humboldt penguins are a smaller species compared to the better-known Emperor penguins, weighing only about 10 lbs on average. They are native to South America (that’s why they’re also known as the Peruvian Penguin), where they nest on islands and rocky coasts. They are very social animals and live in relatively large flocks, but unlike their Emperor relatives, they don’t huddle to keep warm, since they live in warm South American climates. Straight away you can see why a busy London ice rink isn’t the best place for them.

Image credit: Paz Arando, Unslpash

An ice rink is not a penguin’s natural environment

Not only is a London ice rink far from the penguin’s natural environment, the busy and noisy environment and transportation would likely have caused them considerable stress. Not just the transport through central London traffic, but photo flashes, people darting past on their ice skates, and excited children separated from the penguins only by a short fence.

Image credit: Noah Holm, Unsplash

Event cancelled

Fortunately, the penguins could count on our supporters to help them. Within minutes, our posts calling the cruelty of this event went viral, and the venue was inundated with your messages encouraging them not to feature real animals on their ice rink. By the next day, the event was cancelled!

Image credit: Bryson Hammer, Unsplash

Next steps

Unfortunately it is legal in the UK to supply certain wild animals for entertainment purposes. Get in touch with us if you do see wildlife being used so we can raise our concerns and tackle the demand for this service.

We believe that wild animals, such as penguins, belong in the wild. Even when bred in captivity, they are still wild animals with complex needs that can only be met by Mother Nature.

Click here to see what else we are doing to protect animals in the wild.

Lead image credit: Bob Shea, Unsplash

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