Contrary to the reports hitting the web this month, Northern England’s Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary did not give their penguins antidepressants! The penguins have been given another medicine to protect themselves in the cold and wet UK winters though…
The sanctuary’s population of 16 humboldt penguins are used to the extreme weather along the coasts of Chile and Peru, but not the torrential rain and constant cold of the average UK winter. Because of this sort of weather is unusual for these medium sized South American penguins, keepers have slipped antifungal pills into their fish.
Why? The medicine is intended to prevent a nasty aspergillus infection of the lungs, just in case the penguin’s immune systems have been weakened due to the poor weather. A lead aquarist working at the sanctuary was quick to dispel the rumors floating around the internet that the penguins were being tricked into consuming antidepressants by noting “They’re not depressed, they’re not unhappy…”
Unlike the barbarians at the Danish zoo who culled a two year old male giraffe and fed it to their pride of lions in front of an audience of children earlier this month, this popular zoological story turned out to be a happy one. I’d certainly say that it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting animals who are out of their element, and kudos to the Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary for proactively taking care of their penguins. Stay healthy, penguins! Spring is right around the corner!