QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

Penguins given ‘happy pills’ in soaking Britain

QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

ENGLAND: After weeks of rain and wind, miserable penguins at a marine centre in England are being fed anti-depressants to cheer them up.

The 12 Humboldt penguins at the Sealife Centre in Scarborough were showing signs of stress as they shivered through one of the wettest winters on record, so it was decided to slip pills into the fish they are fed.

Although the penguins are accustomed to cold weather in their natural habitat of Peru and Chile, the constant rain has come as a shock to them.

“They are just not used to this type of constant, prolonged bad weather that we are having,” a spokeswoman for the centre said. “They are under treatment for stress and we hope the tablets will have a calming effect on them.”

The penguins suffer no discomfort as a result of the pills.

“They literally don’t know anything about it. It’s a tiny small tablet that fits into the gill of the fish. It doesn’t taste awful,” said the spokeswoman.

The rainy winter has been the wettest combined period for December and January for England since 1876-1877.


USA: Animal rights advocate wants to place a roadside memorial in Georgia to remember chickens killed in a highway crash.

A member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has filed an application for the memorial with the Georgia Department of Transportation. If approved, it would be placed at the Hall County site where a truck hauling live chickens overturned last month.


ENGLAND: The world’s first ad break made entirely from Lego is to be screened by ITV.

A series of animated commercials has been made using characters and bricks from the children’s construction toy.

Stop-motion versions of ads for confused.com, Premier Inn, and BT have been given the Lego treatment for the all-plastic break which is being screened during tomorrow night’s Dancing On Ice heat. The stunt has been created to promote The Lego Movie.


RUSSIA: US Olympians in Sochi will have to make do without the team’s official yoghurt because of a customs dispute with Russia.

Some 5,000 cups of Greek yoghurt from Team USA sponsor Chobani are sitting in a refrigerated warehouse in New York State waiting to be flown to the Olympic village. Russian authorities say the US has refused to provide a certificate required for dairy products. US halfpipe skier Aaron Blunck said that to travelling athletes, getting food from home is part of feeling fit and healthy. “And having the yoghurt there, that helps you, gives you protein, gives you nutrition,” he said.

ENGLAND: A riderless horse and a 10m-high thumbs up are the latest works that will take their place on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth.

The horse, complete with an electronic ribbon tied to its leg displaying the latest live Stock Exchange prices, is by German artist Hans Haacke and will be unveiled next year. David Shrigley’s bronze ‘Really Good’ will be unveiled in 2016.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the “two very different sculptures” were “wryly enigmatic in their own way”.


USA: Officials at a US private school are apologising after a lunch menu option to celebrate Black History Month angered some parents and students because of the stereotypically ethnic foods.

When Carondelet High School for Girls in Concord, California, announced a menu of fried chicken, cornbread, and watermelon, some parents and students took offence.

School officials held an assembly to discuss the issue and apologised to parents. Principal Nancy Libby wrote the items were taken off of the menu and stressed that the school does not perpetuate racial stereotypes.

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