Shanghai zoo feeds garlic to penguins

SHANGHAI, China: As if fish-breath wasn’t bad enough.Keepers at Shanghai’s zoo are feeding the penguins garlic to help ward off respiratory problems and other illnesses during the Chinese financial center’s long, humid, summer rainy season, local media reported Wednesday.

Penguins are highly sensitive to a mold that grows in their enclosure, and in past rainy seasons some have become weak and sick after ingesting it.

Garlic helps fortify their respiratory systems, as well as protect their intestines and stomach, the Shanghai Morning Post said.

Getting them to eat it isn’t easy, however, since garlic isn’t part of their natural diet and penguins tend to be picky about their food.

Zoo keepers have to stuff three to four cloves of garlic per bird in the fish they regularly feed on, the reports said.

Keepers have also arranged two sun baths per day to keep the rainy day blues at bay, they said.

[via International Herald Tribune]

There’s an interesting concept, feeding garlic to penguins. Yeah, I can’t imagine they would want to eat it straight from their hands. I wonder if other zoos and aquariums have thought of doing this as there had some recent penguin deaths due to respiratory problems, molds, and toxins.

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2 Comments

Filed under Animals, News, Penguin

2 responses to “Shanghai zoo feeds garlic to penguins

  1. maryt

    Garlic is excellent for all animals, birds and humans. Some humans I know where the garlic in a bag around their necks…but I don’t think it would work for penguins. Ha!

    I bet “Macaroni” penguins would eat garlic right out of the keepers hand…

  2. maryt

    “wear” not “where” Can’t stand those kind of mistakes.

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