Aquarium's penguins play iPad game

The game keeps the penguins distracted for long enough to receive health checkups.

By Ben Hooper
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LONG BEACH, Calif., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Bored penguins? There's an app for that.

A California aquarium said its 19 Magellanic penguins are getting mental stimulation from an iPad app called "Games for Cats."


Sara Mandel, an aviculturist with the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., said she downloaded the iPad app for her cat to play with and she was curious about how the South American penguins would react to the device.

Mandel said the penguins quickly took to the game, which was designed for cats to swat at digital mice but also allows for penguins to try to grab the avatars with their beaks.

Cool Hunting Video: Penguin Enrichment from Cool Hunting on Vimeo.

"I put it down and [the penguins] just started biting it and messing with it," Mandel told the Cool Hunting blog. "And then [penguins] Newsom and Jeremy became obsessed with it."

The aviculturist said the game provides mental stimulation for the penguins as well as a needed distraction to get the animals to hold still for medical exams.


Mandel said she has some advice for anyone looking to develop an app specifically for penguins.

"They like this game and like shiny objects, so put those things together and probably have another successful game for our birds," Mandel said.

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