Seven penguins Mysteriously drown at the Calgary Zoo

I am not sure if I have heard this one before, but as far as I know penguins do not drown. It was quite a strange event at the Calgary Zoo in Canada when seven penguins were found dead. Cause of death apparently “drowning

“It’s very bizarre,” DJ Schubert, a wildlife biologist for the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), told The Dodo. “It just seems so odd.”

The circumstances surrounding the penguins’ deaths are odd because penguins are aquatic animals. In fact, they can spend up to 75 percent of their time in water. So the fact that they drowned has stumped everyone. Apparently, even the zoo itself.

This week, the Calgary Zoo stated that it is launching an investigation. “What caused these animals to get into a situation where they would have drowned is something we are going to look at,” Jamie Dorgan, the zoo’s director of animal care, told CBC News. “It seems to be some stressor led to these birds going into some kind of panic … but it’s hard to say what could have triggered that.”

This explanation isn’t good enough for Julie Woodyer, the campaign director for Zoocheck, a Canadian animal welfare organization. “This zoo — and most zoos — spend millions of dollars on developing and refurbishing these enclosures, but they’re so focused on visitor experience that they often fail to address animal welfare issues,” Woodyer told The Dodo. “In this case, they should have the ability to monitor animals 24 hours a day inside their enclosure with surveillance equipment.”

While the drowning remains a mystery, Schubert believes captivity played a role in the penguins’ deaths. “Living in the wild would always be preferable to living in captivity, because as hard as we humans might try, we cannot emulate their natural habitat in captivity,” he said. “There’s no way that the polar plunge exhibit provides them with the space or the psychological enrichment that they would normally receive in the wild, and therefore, those animals were in a compromised position.”