SAN DIEGO, California –
Rehabilitators, biologists, and animal lovers in California are working through an animal rehabilitation center to bring back the joy of eating food to one of the planet’s most beloved species.
It’s been many years since penguins had the ability to taste their food. Janes, head of the research department at the center, explains one of her theories:
“They eat fish. They swallow their food whole. They don’t even cook it, or skin it, or clean it – how can that be tasty? So since they’re basically eating the wildlife equivalent of sushi, we thought it best to teach them to slow down, take a minute to savor the food, and eat it properly – with chopsticks!”
She posits that teaching penguins to eat with chopsticks will slow them down at mealtime, allowing them to experience wonderful tastes once again.
“The biggest challenge so far,” Janes said, “has been figuring out how they can use the chopsticks without fingers. It’s been a battle, but we’re making good progress.”
Slowing them down also means that penguin families will have more time together, sharing the same mealtime-bonding that humans do. This is expected to lessen Antarctic youth crimes by as much as 80% in the first year. The Antarctic Penguins Police Force (APPF) has made a generous monetary gift in support of this program and is urging other communities, such as the Galapagos Penguins, to do the same.
“If we can spend our taxpayer dollars to help our neighbors improve their quality of life instead of paying for crimes out of frustration and depression – well it’s not even a question,” the Chief of the APPF said.
The group’s next move is to teach the penguins how to clean and cook their fish before eating them. A number of spices and some cooking utensils will be sent home with each released penguin.