I Think We All Need This…

We must hope the penguin’s assistant is treating him/her well–and the proper conditions for penguin good health are just outside the camera’s range (an ice bath, for sure).

In my heart, I know this cutie shouldn’t be in captivity. I’ve persuaded myself that the artiste is having lots of fun and will be just fine. Right?


23 thoughts on “I Think We All Need This…

    1. You’re welcome, Joanna. There is growing research about animal cognition—and even an interdisciplinary journal bearing that title. Your question is intriguing and raises fascinating possibilities, including some I’m not sure we’d like to know!


  1. According to New Zealand conservationist Sian Liversage captive penguins live longer healthier lives then their wild brethren around 30 years. He states “Their waddling gait, clumsy nature and charismatic personalities make them an ideal species to have in captivity, simply to bring the people in.” Then asks your question: should we? He must be a zookeeper as he thinks yes if they are happy.

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  2. I understand the captivity concern. My mind goes there, too. When we really don’t know, sometimes it’s best for our mental health to believe the best – that the penguin had a good life and enjoys this work.

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    1. Right. I did a post a while back about elephants’ painting that revealed cruelty in training and handling. But I don’t get that sense from this little video. Thanks, Joanna.


  3. The little fellow seems somewhat bonded to the artist/trainer . . . but still. Animals pulled from their natural environment and made to perform for whatever reason doesn’t sit terribly well with me. There are those odd associations between species that one reads about (a goat, i think it was, that became a protector for a blind horse, for example) but tricks for trick/art sake? Not great, in my view, but clearly I’m in the minority here.

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    1. I certainly understand your position, Denise. And yet there are many instances—with many breeds of dogs, for example—in which animals are happiest when they have jobs to do with humans. And as you note, there are any number of inter-species relationships. Much we don’t know—much to learn.


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