The weather in England is famously dreary, and this winter it’s been worse, not only dismal but windy and stormy. Humans have developed ways to cope with this — pajamas, whiskey, Law & Order marathons — but penguins, even ones living in relative comfort in captivity, aren’t so lucky. And the ones at the Sea Life Center in Scarborough are getting downright depressed.
Scarborough’s Humboldt penguins really ought to be able to tough out winter weather; their native habitat in coastal Peru and Chile does get extreme weather events. But the British winter has been relentless and the penguins are having none of it:
The center’s display curator Lyndsey Crawford told the Guzelian news agency: “Humboldts in the wild on the coast of Peru and Chile can be subjected to some pretty wild extremes of weather. What they don’t get though is weeks of almost daily downpours and high winds.
“After the first week out birds were just a bit subdued, but after over a month now, they are thoroughly fed-up and miserable, much like the rest of us.”
Among other things, that stress could mean that the penguins don’t lay eggs. So their caretakers are putting them on antidepressants, just until the weather lets up.
And meanwhile, those of us with the ability to turn to technology to cure our winter doldrums can enjoy this video of penguins falling down:
Get Grist in your inbox