author of Feeding Eden

Hot on the Zoo Trail…

I've been trying to contact the Central Park Zoo manager (keeper?) to find out about a penguin. So far no one is picking up the phone.

Why? About a year ago a babysitter we used to have took my kids to the zoo and came back with big news from the Penguin House. "There's a penguin there who has food allergies!"

"Yeah," my son added, very matter of fact. "He had to eat different fish."
After the details unraveled - Yes, the zoo worker who was feeding the penguins confirmed that there was one penguin who couldn't eat the other penguins food. No, the penguin didn't try to eat their fish, he (or she?) waited for the other kind. And no, they didn't ask any of my questions like:
How did the zoo people realize this was an allergy? What kind of fish does he eat? Is this the first penguin with this issue? Does he feel isolated at times? How has his allergy affected his peer relations?
"I had to go to the bathroom," my daughter explained. "There wasn't any time."
I have decided that my curiosity has festered too long and I'm hot on the trail (on re-dial, really, since I don't feel like venturing out to the zoo in February.) Meanwhile, if anyone has any experience with animals and food allergies, please share.