At the zoo….
Do you think they are happy? Do you think they know any different? I mean, sure, some of them (all of them?) were hatched there at the zoo, so they don’t know any different, but instinctually, they have to know something is not right. It’s the ones that were captured from the wild and brought to the zoo (are there even any of those?) that I am most concerned about. Do they know? They get fed, they are kept warm….or cold…or whatever it is penguins like to be….and they are taught tricks and some lady with a whistle marches them out in groups a few times a day to dive into a pool and get applause. And fish. They look happy. But are they? Or have they just come to terms with the fact that this is how life is going to be for them now?
I think about the penguins at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas a lot. Las Vegas is basically the exact opposite environment in which a penguin thrives, yet, there they are, waddling around outside in the scorching heat. I saw a sign up once that said not to antagonize the penguins because, due to the heat, they were molting and when they molt, they get bloated and crabby and will probably bite you. I wanted to let all of the penguins loose and then find the Penguin Manager and slap him. Of course they are crabby. They aren’t where they belong. They are trapped. For them, everything is all wrong.
I get that. Penguins are my homeboys.