March 9, 2001
BERN, Switzerland (By Kevin Creed, Weekly World News) Animal-rights groups worldwide are up in arms over "penguin bowling" Ė an outrageous game in which helicopter pilots compete to see how many penguins they can knock over with the vibration of their engines! Activists say British, French and German naval pilots at the South Pole are cruelly exploiting penguinsí equilibrium problem. When a chopper flies over, the cute little birds crane their necks up to watch it until they topple over backward. This strange instinct, combined with the shaking of the ground caused by the rotor blades, makes them lose their sense of balance and fall on their backs. "Itís not funny, itís sick," said Rolf Vohlmann, spokesman for the Switzerland-based International Organization for Animal Protection and Preservation. "Itís a bunch of bored men who get enjoyment from stressing animals." Officials of the British Navy emphatically deny that their pilots engage in penguin bowling, but the German fliers donít care who knows what they are up to and say that Vohlmann is making a big deal out of nothing. "We donít hurt the penguins," Said German flier, Klaus Doer, who boasts a personal best of 27 birds with a single flyover. "They just fall over and get back up again. Whatís the big deal?" Vohlmann says he hopes to get an international law on the books to ban penguin bowling but says he needs the support of people in every country.