by Wan Dan Liao, Straight Times
SINGAPORE – The Singapore Zoo has closed their penguin enclosure this morning (18 July).
Citing depression in the penguins as the cause leading to the temporary closure, Zookeeper Miss Dong Wu Yuan explains, “Our penguins have not been eating well since last week. The male penguins have been diagnosed with depression”.
“Mass depression in male penguins is rare,” explains Dr Jia Yi Sheng. The last known case of mass depression in male penguins happened in New York Central Park Zoo in 1998 where more than a dozen male penguins displayed symptoms of depression and low libido.
“The keepers in Central Zoo then decided to introduce more male penguins to elicit competition,” elaborates Dr Jia, “but the male penguins paired up with the newly introduced males and that cured the depressed penguins”
New York Central Park Zoo was home to Roy and Silo, the first documented gay penguins. That year, the zoo had 6 pairs of male gay penguins. A children’s book, “and Tango makes three” which documented Roy & Silos’ story was taken off the bookshelves of National Library Board as it promoted gay values that goes against traditional family values.
“The Singapore Zoo has sent a note to partner zoos to source for male penguins that exhibited same-sex attraction,” When asked about the depressed penguins, Miss Dong said, “It is unfortunate we have to close the Penguin enclosure temporary until they get more perky. We apologise for the inconvenience.”
Visitors to the penguin enclosure expressed disappointment. With tears in his eyes, a primary school student Xiao Peng You said, “I begged my daddy and my uncle to bring me here today because the penguins are so cute”. He is seen holding the book “and Tango makes three”.
“He will be okay after an ice-cream,” his Dad smiles. “Banana flavour is his favourite”, Peng You’s uncle added as both try to pacify the sobbing boy.