Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Hamleys end flap over live penguin stunt

3 December 2010

Categories: Zoo Check Campaign News, Homepage News

Born Free Foundation persuades top toy store to withdraw live animal show

An avalanche of protests from animal lovers across the United Kingdom, including Virginia McKenna OBE, members of the Born Free Foundation and Bill Bailey and many more, have swamped the Hamleys Facebook site.

The reason?

Hamleys recently announced that this Christmas, in order to add that ‘certain something’, they would feature live reindeer at their flagship store and on Monday 6th December, live penguins!

The news was greeted with gasps of dismay right across the country. Negative comments beamed in from as far away as Canada and Australia.

Will Travers, CEO of Born Free Foundation said, “Hamleys were always on thin ice with this one. Live animals are not toys and we should not be confusing the two.  Hamleys, is the world’s favourite toy store, but they were doing their reputation no good at all by contemplating a stunt with live animals.”

In a statement issued by Hamleys, the company announced that they were not going ahead with the penguin parade.  They said, "Hamleys' recognises having penguins in store has raised concerns amongst some of its customers and, as a result, we have decided to cancel their proposed appearance next week"

Virginia McKenna OBE, Founder of the Born Free Foundation, said “I am sure Hamleys now appreciates the incredible depth of public concern over this issue.  Of course, if they want to help support penguins, in the wild where they belong, then Born Free and WH Smith are running a Little Penguin Animal Adoption for Christmas. Funds raised will be used to protect the only breeding colony of this species on the mainland of New South Wales, Australia.”

Bill Bailey, one of the UK’s favourite stand-up comedians, musicians and actors, on his Twitter site said “Whaat? Live penguins! In Hamleys? Freaked out of their tiny minds? No, that is wrong on so many levels”

Will Travers concluded: “The potential exploitation of wild animals in this way is, sadly, still legal but Hamleys have made the decision and it’s a victory of commonsense. Born Free and our many supporters throughout the country and around the world are delighted to have helped secure the right result.

Visit our Facebook page and see how the events played out in full!

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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