Looking for Excuses

…to be offended, with lots of energy.  This time it’s PETA bellyaching about a professional hockey team’s use of penguins to entertain the crowd prior to a game.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent a letter to the [Pittsburgh] Penguins Thursday criticizing the team’s use of live penguins during its pregame entertainment for the Stadium Series game at Heinz Field February 25.

Never mind the experts’ perspective.

Tracy Gray, a spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh Zoo, said in a statement that the safety of its animals are a top priority and that the animals were accompanied by zoo keepers and a veterinarian during the appearance at Heinz Field.

“The penguins who attended the Winter Classic are some of the same penguins that participate in our weekend Penguins on Parade event. They are very comfortable around people and noises. In addition, it was a great enrichment opportunity for our penguins to be introduced to new sounds, sights, and smells. Keepers and our Senior Veterinarian were with the penguins at all times on the ice.

“The loud pop from the pyro technical display temporarily startled the penguins and their first reaction, similar to a human’s when startled, they flapped their wings. It was less than 10 seconds and the penguins were back to normal and exploring and playing on the ice[.]”

The zookeepers are far more credible than crowds like PETA.

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