Robo-Penguins Ready to Take Over Zoos

Published by PETA.

Warning: Spoiler Alert! If you don’t want to have your suspension of disbelief, er, suspended, please do not read any further.

The penguins in Madagascar and Happy Feet are not real!

OK, so you knew that already, but you still love them anyway, right?

Our point exactly. That’s why we’re asking the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York, to replace the real penguins at the zoo with bionic birds.

Developed by German engineering company Festo, these robotic penguins are able to swim and communicate just like real penguins—and tap dance like the fake ones.


dvice / CC
I’m kidding about the tapping. They’re more into Bollywood dancing. 🙂
Robotic Penguins


These cutting-edge carbon copies are totally lifelike—but as fake as some zoos’ concern about animal welfare—and they’ll allow visitors to observe animal behavior without inflicting the stress of captivity on live penguins. Penguins are avid swimmers and divers who belong in open water—not on display in concrete enclosures that fail to come even close to simulating their natural environments.

And forget attracting a partner with a sweet song. Penguins in zoos have their mates chosen for them through breeding programs, and their chicks are often taken away to be raised by zookeepers.

It’s no wonder that being pent-up in a zoo causes pimped penguins and other exploited animals to have pent-up frustration.

Here’s hoping that the Rosamond Gifford Zoo will take our advice (we’re offering to donate two grand toward this grand idea). I’d definitely be down with watching robotic animals.

How about you? What type of animal would you most like to see zoos replace with a robot?

Written by Amy Elizabeth

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind