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11th Jul 2012

P-p-pick up a Penguin? Better Not – We Stress Them Out, Apparently

New research has revealed that penguins are incredibly stressed out by us humans and our annoying ways. This upsets us way more than is appropriate...

Penguins – they’re great aren’t they? They’re cute, they look like they’re wearing little tuxedos and, if recent films are to be believed, they can cut a rug on the dance floor.

We all know that penguins like a lot of things: fish, ice and snow. But what do they absolutely hate? Eh…people, apparently. (Heart-breaking, we know).

The Irish Independent reports that scientists have just discovered that WE are responsible for stressing out penguins and making them miserable. Sad face.

So all those penguins in Dublin Zoo weren’t really happy to see you – they were squawking because they were actually freaking out and terrified of you.

But why do penguins have such an issue with us? Here’s the research bit…

Researchers tested the stress responses of King penguins living in colonies that had been disturbed by humans and human activity.  While some penguins were able to cope with humans, loud noises and being captured, others walked away and deserted their colonies.

Basically this means that some are able to cope with our loud and annoying ways, but others just don’t want to deal with it and prefer to be far, far away from us humans and our irritating behaviour.

“Our findings report a case of physiological adjustment to human presence in a long-studied King penguin colony, and emphasise the importance of considering potential effects of human presence in ecological studies,” said Dr Vincent Viblanc, the lead scientist of the study.

The research is published in the online journal BMC Ecology.  

Are you as upset about this news as we are?