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Penguins in the Middle East?

Twenty penguins have been transplanted from Sea World San Antonio to an environment that is about as far removed from their natural icy climate of Antarctica as possible. The penguins are now calling Ski Dubai home.

Ski Dubai is a large indoor ski facility located in the Middle East. The park is the first and only ski facility and has 3000 square meters of snow colored terrain.

The people of Ski Dubai believe that no harm is being done and that the penguins will serve as a learning tool for visitors. “The whole objective of the program is to raise awareness about those wonderful creatures and about the environment,” says Omar Al-Banna, the marketing director at Ski Dubai, “and what people should do and what they shouldn’t do about the penguins and the environment.”

The penguins will live in lavish conditions, receiving restaurant quality food in a climate-controlled environment but many believe the transplantation is merely for entertainment and that the action is cruel.

According to Humane Society International Vice President Kitty Block “These are ice animals and climate change and other issues impact them. Does it educate people about the plight of these animals? If it’s not educating and its just entertainment, well then, there is a concern about that.”

It should also be noted that the penguins will be waited on by a staff of 13 keepers and will receive a veterinary visit every 2 weeks. So is this cruelty or education? I’m inclined to say that it’s neither and just a bit overtly decadent, but what are your thoughts? Terrible idea, or not so different from live in Sea World San Antonio?

Image Source: Karl Normington/Flickr