PETA Statement: No, Fireworks Are Not Enrichment for Penguins

For Immediate Release:
March 2, 2017

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Captive Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Heather Rally regarding the Pittsburgh Zoo’s defense of video footage showing penguins scrambling in terror from fireworks at the Stadium Series this past weekend:

These penguins were terrified into a flight response—there’s simply no refuting that. While human beings were able to realize that the fireworks were merely startling and not dangerous, these penguins were obviously frightened and attempted to flee. True enrichment involves a safe and familiar environment, where animals have some choice and control over what they do, not booming pyrotechnics and a boisterous hockey crowd. The Pittsburgh Zoo should know this and do better by the animals in its care.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and more information is available at

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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