P-p-p-pick them a new penguin home! Campaigners slam ‘mediocre’ SEA LIFE London Aquarium conditions

A petition slamming the ‘unacceptable’ conditions penguins are kept in at Sea Life London Aquarium has garnered more than 99,000 signatures.

The campaign, launched on back in November, states that the Gentoo penguins at the South Bank venue have no access to natural light and the size of their living quarters provides a poor quality of life.

The online petition calls for the centre to provide ‘adequate care for the penguins, or to have them moved to a facility that can’.

A spokesman for the Merlin attraction said: “We have a dedicated team of keepers here who work tirelessly to ensure our birds, and indeed the rest of the animals at the aquarium, get the best care possible.

Penguin SEA LIFE London Aquarium Natalie Rowan
(UN)HAPPY FEET? Elsa the penguin waddles around her home

“As animal experts, nobody cares more about the welfare of our penguins than we do.”

The aquarium argued in response to the petition that the facility provides care that has satisfied the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 and the animals are inspected twice a month to ensure they are in full health.

A spokesman said: “Gentoo penguins cannot cope with fluctuating temperatures such as those we experience here in London so the air and water temperatures are consistent and changes throughout the year are gradual.”

However petition supporter Izabel Broad argued that the facility was only thinking of the money that could be made.

She said: “I’m disgusted by how some human beings think that they have the right to take wild animals out of their natural habitat and then keep them in these mediocre conditions and then, to add insult to injury, profit from it.

“It’s absolutely despicable! These animals are living, breathing, feeling creatures just like we are and they deserve respect and appreciation!”

The petition is calling for 150,000 supporters to sign against the keeping of penguins at the aquarium, which this year welcomed its first Gentoo penguin chick which was born at the facility.

You can sign the petition here:

Pictures courtesy of Matt Haworth & Natalie Rowan

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