An event offering the chance to skate alongside penguins has been cancelled after animal rights activists branded the event ‘cruel and tacky’.
Queens Skate Dine Bowl planned the event, which was supposed to go ahead on January 19 in London, UK.
It allowed attendees to skate on the same rink as five Humboldt penguins, with sections divided by a waist-high fence, as part of the Penguins Awareness Day.
The organisers claimed the event to be a non-profit, educational and accessible experience to raise awareness for penguin welfare.
The profits from the event were intended to go to animal charities – to help penguins who are endangered in their natural habitat.
The event drew significant criticism on social media. PETA tweeted: “Using penguins to draw in paying customers is cruel and unthinking. Humboldt penguins belong in cold water and on the rocky islands off the coast of South America, not on a skating rink in London. “
“Forcing them to endure the stress of being hauled around and then let loose in an unfamiliar environment – with hordes of strangers – can only leave these sensitive animals confused, stressed, and petrified.”
World Animal Protection UK added: “Penguins are wild animals that should be in their natural environment, not advertising a busy and noisy tourist attraction.”
Animal lovers across the globe took to twitter to discourage the idea.
One said: “Utterly disgusted by this. Cruel and tacky commercial venture at the expense of wild animals! You’re treating them as mere toys just so you can make ££!!”
Another tweeted: “You should be ashamed of yourselves @queens_london. This is disgusting.”
South Pacific Animal Welfare (SPAW) added: “This is a travesty”
Following the backlash, the venue cancelled the event and tweeted: “Sadly due to the concerns raised by various animal protection groups including PETA & Freedom for Animals – we have had to cancel the event in the interest of the penguins & our guests.”
Sadly? 🧐 perhaps you will think again before exploiting animals in the future.— clare (@ClareW1111) January 12, 2019
I will say thank you though 😏
The phrase ‘sadly’ in the announcement further angered animal lovers on Twitter. One tweeted: “Sadly? perhaps you will think again before exploiting animals in the future. I will say thank you though ”
Another said: “Sadly? Are you mad? In what parallel universe did this ever seem to be a good idea? ”
What do you think about this event? Tell us in the comments section below!
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