Insider account #8: Penguin welfare at SEA LIFE Birmingham

Insider account #8: Penguin welfare at SEA LIFE Birmingham

A member of staff reported that penguins at Birmingham SEA LIFE showed signs of stereotypic behaviours.

“Stereotypic behaviours” are repetitive behaviours with no obvious function. In animals, they might include rocking, pacing, head-nodding, swaying and over-grooming, amongst other things.

Stereotypic behaviours are widely accepted as being a sign of psychological distress or even the external symptoms of mental illness. In short, the presence of stereotypic behaviours can be a sign that there is something very, very wrong with the state of mind of the animal demonstrating them. Vitally important to note is that stereotypies are not witnessed in animals in the wild. It is therefore thought that it is captivity, or some aspect or aspects of captivity, which are the direct cause of stereotypic behaviours.


Photo source:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *