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Depressed penguins get "happy" pills

Monday, February 10, 2014 - 01:10

Feb. 10 - Penguins at a British marine sanctuary are struggling to cope with the even-worse-than normal wet winter weather and are given medication to improve their mood. Tara Cleary reports.

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Try as he might, Josh Saunders just can't get these penguins to eat. Saunders is an aquarist at the Scarborough Sealife and Marine Sanctuary in England, and he says the birds are depressed about the exceptionally wet, cold winter. SOUNDBITE: Josh Saunders, Scarborough Sealife and Marine Sanctuary aquarist, saying (English): "Normally these penguins come from Chile and Peru and they tend to have more of a warmer season as we're having a colder season. They're not very happy with all the bad weather we've been having. They don't like the constant wind and the constant rain." So, the sanctuary is resorting to drugs - not quite like anti-depressants for humans, but they are aimed at improving the penguins' moods. SOUNDBITE: Josh Saunders, Scarborough Sealife and Marine Sanctuary aquarist, saying (English): "The main problem with penguins is that when they get stressed the first thing that tends to happen is they get a fungus within their lungs and can cause them a lot of problems. So we give them their tablets earlier so that it stops the fungus from taking over the body before it becomes too late." The tablets are hidden in the penguins' food and Saunders hopes that not only will the birds' be happier, but that the sanctuary will soon be bathed in sunlight.

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Depressed penguins get "happy" pills

Monday, February 10, 2014 - 01:10

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