The Truth About Pet Penguins
Recently some people have been obsessed with attempting to have pet penguins. Believe it or not, the fascination with having wild animals as pets does not stop with penguins. Everything from monkeys to bears has been scoped out for domestication. Although the practice of making these wild animals household pets is widespread, it is illegal in most parts of the world. Throughout this article we will explain why having pet penguins is not a good idea while also examining which types of penguins are typically sought after as pets.
When people think of penguins, they instantly think icebergs and Antarctica. However, as you could imagine, hosting an arctic penguin in most other parts of the world would be pretty impossible. Therefore, most who wish to have a penguin as a pet generally go for the African Penguins, which is known as Spheniscus demersus to most scientists. These penguins are generally found on the African coast on nearby islands. Other penguins that are not artic in nature can also be found near the southern part of South America.
These penguins are typically average about two feet in height and can weigh anywhere between four and eleven pounds. Furthermore, these penguins are marked with black stripes and spots. As with most species, the males are typically larger in size than the female penguins.
Although it is very tempting to attempt to house pet penguins, it is essential to note that this is much easier said than done. Unlike dogs, cats, and fish, penguins require a lot of specific care. Furthermore, you cannot take a penguin to a regular veterinarian; instead, you must seek a qualified exotic veterinarian, which are relatively hard to find. Along these same lines, there are very strict needs including an environment with salt water for these penguins. Anyone wishing to house a penguin for a pet must not only have a permit but also has to follow through with multiple inspections on a regular basis to make sure the penguin is in a healthy environment.
Most people who wish to have pet penguins are completely unaware of how social these creatures truly are by nature. Penguins travel in groups for a reason—they require the attention emotionally. It is not enough for a penguin to have human companions; they truly do need other penguins nearby.
Not to mention that the penguins have specific dietary needs. Anyone attempting to hold a penguin in captivity would not only have to have a relatively endless supply of fresh fish, but must also be able to adequately provide vitamins and other necessary nutritional items. Furthermore, these birds are extremely expensive in terms of care. There are a variety of needs these penguins require that cannot be provided by most individuals. Not only must you have an appropriate environment, but the temperature and nearby vegetation must also be maintained in a way that is suitable for the penguin. Those that travel on vacation frequently would also not be able to leave as often; the penguins cannot be kept outdoors or in a kennel like your typical household pet. Furthermore, taking them to your neighbors for care is not as easy when you must provide a clean salt-water pond.
In conclusion, it is not recommended that people have pet penguins regardless of if they are from Antarctica or found in South America and Africa. These animals are wild for a reason and do not easily adapt to captivity. Not only do penguins require frequent socialization with others in their species, but they are high in maintenance and are more susceptible to diseases when held captive. Those wishing to have a pet penguin should reexamine this decision before making it final, while also noting that it is highly illegal in most areas.