Can Penguins Be Pets? 18 Impressive Penguin Facts

Penguins are one of the cutest animals in the world that live in cold places. On the internet, many people interact with penguins. Some of them want to get one penguin to make it as a pet. However, is it really a good idea?

Can I keep a penguin as a pet? No, you can’t. Because all penguins are protected by laws, there is no way you’ll be able to own one. Even if you live in a country with penguins, it is illegal to keep one as a pet. Only zoos can get permission to have a penguin. 

There is much more to learn about penguins! I have listed all facts about penguins below. Hopefully, after you finish reading the whole article, you will realize why it is not a good idea to keep a pet penguin. You will also be fascinated with these cute little fluffy creatures!

Check the cute and fluffy penguin video first before you continue reading!

Why Penguins Are Not Good Pets?

Like I have mentioned above, owning a penguin is illegal unless you are a zoo or a reservation. So it means if you have money for a facility, you can own a pet penguin. Only rich people can do this because they have tons of cash to maintain a pet penguin.

Even people living in a country where penguins are abundant can’t get a penguin and take it home. It may be tempting to get one because of their cute and fluffy appearances. People living in those countries still need a permit to own a pet penguin. 

However, even if it is legally possible to own one as long as you have money, do you really want to own one? I think you won’t.

Even if you successfully get a pet penguin, you will not be satisfied because they are horrible pets. You may be satisfied at first. But as soon they grow, they can be a pain in the ass. 

Penguins are social creatures that love to live in groups. If you are going to get a pet penguin, you need at least ten of them so that they won’t get depressed. Of course, you don’t want a depressed penguin. Right?

Another reason why penguins are horrible pets is because of their habitat. Penguins need to be in zero temperatures that have a fresh pool and enough space for them to roam.

You will burn tons of cash just for the construction of their house. Consider as well the maintenance of their swimming pool as they love to poop there. 

The other reason why penguins are horrible pets is that their food is expensive. You need to have a large supply of fresh fish. Why? Because they will eat 10-20 fishes per hour! So that is more than 4000 fishes per 12 hours. I hope you have lots of money to buy tons of fish. 

Also, don’t forget that they need a vet to keep them healthy. Of course, you don’t want your penguin to get sick all the time. When you sum all the money you need to spend, you will get fainted for sure. 

If you plan to get a pet penguin, get ready because it would be a challenge for you. Also, I forgot to say that you need to say bye-bye to your vacation time. No vacations for you darling because you need to feed your pet penguin and his friends every day. 

But you can get a penguin sitter, but also remember that a penguin sitter’s stipend is not as cheap as a babysitter. They will take care of 10-20 little penguins that love to poop and eat every hour. Because of lots of work, obviously, you need to pay them big money. 

If you don’t have a bank account like Elon Musk, it is better for you to have a stuffed toy penguin. But even though you have, it’s still impractical to get a pet penguin.

Can You Train A Pet Penguin?

Yes, you can! Penguins can be trained to do simple tasks. However, they can’t still be potty trained. Zookeepers have successfully trained penguins to do some tricks in front of the audience and interact with people. Penguins are smart animals, which is why they can be trained easily 

Penguins that are trained can be touched and hugged. However, it will be dangerous if you try to hug or touch a wild penguin. But even though a penguin is trained, it doesn’t mean you can run to them and hug them unexpectedly. A trained penguin should be comfortable with you first before they allow you to hug them. 

If you try to touch or hug a wild penguin, they might bite you. The bite of a penguin is like a clamp. So obviously, it is painful. Because it is painful, of course, you don’t want to get bitten. Right? So stay away from wild penguins and go to the zoo if you desire to hug a real penguin!

How Much Does A Penguin Cost?

While browsing the internet, I saw some websites and ads that sell a pet penguin. According to those, a penguin costs from $1000 to $$20,000. 

It will put a hole in your pocket just by buying a pet penguin. Why? Because like I have mentioned, you need 10-20 penguins so that your pet penguin won’t get depressed. You can sum it up on yourself and see how much it will cost you. 

This is just the cost of a pet penguin. The price does not include their food, habitat, and maintenance. Even if you have enough money to get a pet penguin, your penguin cannot live longer if you don’t have lots of money for your penguin’s needs.

Is It Illegal To Own A Pet Penguin?

Like I have mentioned, yes. It is illegal to own a pet penguin unless you are a zoo or reservation. However, you can also have a pet penguin even if you don’t have a zoo, but only if you are a billionaire. You need to have lots of money for the permit, maintenance, and habitat of your pet penguins.

Are Penguins Dangerous To Humans?

Penguins are some of the cutest animals in the world. They are fluffy and smart, which makes them cuter! 

Penguins are not dangerous to humans. As long as they are not threatened, they won’t attack. They only become aggressive to other penguins or predators depending on the situation. If their lives are in danger they will act aggressively. 

When penguins see a human near their nesting sites, they become aggressive and most likely bite the human. However, this doesn’t mean that a penguin is always aggressive to humans. When you go to a beach with lots of penguins, they will stare at you out of curiosity, but they will never approach you to bother you. 

Because of the fluffiness of penguins, it may invite humans to approach them. However, it is restricted to disturb the wild penguins. Researchers are allowed to get near the penguins for research purposes. 

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t see a penguin personally and hug them. There are lots of zoos around the world that have penguins. You can go there if you really want to see and hug a real-life penguin.

The penguins in the zoos are tamed and trained to be nice to humans, which is why it is safer to meet a penguin there rather than at the beach. 

How Fast Are Penguins?

Penguins are cute little birds that have fluffy bodies. Let’s check how fast they swim, run, and walk.


The average speed of penguins walking on land depends on the species. However, it can range from 1mph to 3mph.


Penguins love to swim! They swim when they need to hunt or hide from their predators. Most penguins swim underwater at around four to seven miles per hour. The fastest penguin is the Gentoo that can reach top speeds of 24mph.


Penguins do not usually run. They only walk and chill. However, if they are frightened, penguins can run faster than humans even though it is snowy. Penguins can run at a speed of around 6-10km/h.

What Do Penguins Eat?

Even though penguins look sweet and fluffy, these cute little creatures are carnivores. 

Penguins will hunt prey underwater. Below is the list of animals that they love to eat. 

  • Fishes
  • Crabs
  • Squids
  • Krills

Above are their favorite foods. But aside from that, penguins will eat anything they find underwater except sharks and other larger animals. During summer, penguins will eat about two pounds of food each day. But during winter, they will eat one-third of that. 

Can Humans Eat Penguin Meat?

Yes! You can! But you shouldn’t attempt to try, and you will probably never find a restaurant that serves penguin meat. Penguins are protected species. So it means you will violate a law when you eat one or kill one. 

Some people said it tastes like usual beef. It must be really delicious to taste a penguin. However, I still don’t suggest it because it is illegal and cruel.

What Do Baby Penguins Look?

Baby penguins are born completely covered with gray, white, or brown plumage. The color of their coat will change as they grow up. It will become the counter shade black and white plumage which most people know. Baby penguins switch to adult plumage when they turn one year old. 

Below are the pictures of a baby penguin. 

baby penguins
baby penguin 1

Are Penguins Endangered?

Nope. Penguins are not endangered species. There are millions of penguins left around the world. However, this doesn’t mean that you can get one or kill one and try to eat it. You will get your free pass to jail if an authority catches you.

Where Do Penguins Live?

Penguins are cute, fluffy, and flightless birds that live below the equator. Some penguins can live in warmer climates. However, most of them, including the emperor penguin, is found in Antarctica.

How Smart Are Penguins?

Penguins are social animals that love to live in groups. They are also extremely intelligent species. Penguins can be trained, self-aware, can use tools like marbles, and communicate with other penguins. They can even form a community and hierarchies in groups.

Lastly, penguins are more confident to confess their crush than you! 

We can’t measure their IQ, but research shows that penguins are the smartest animals on Earth. They are smarter than dogs actually. Penguins are quick learners that can use tools to create their own nest. There is no doubt that penguins are intelligent animals because of different studies. 

Do you want proof? Check the video below of a penguin building its nest on the ground.

How Soft Are Penguins?

Penguins are not softer than any other birds. Birds feel bony when you touch them. But penguin feathers are still not as nice to touch as those psittacine birds. The feathers of penguins are oily and stiff, and have the smell of a dead fish! 

Why Do Penguins Huddle Together?

Have you ever seen penguins huddle together? If yes, do you wonder why?

The reason why penguins huddle together is to prevent themselves from freezing to death. Penguins huddle together to conserve heat and shelter themselves from winds caused by snowstorms. It looks cute for us, but in reality, they have a greater purpose why they do that.

Why Do Penguins Collect Pebbles?

Penguins will collect pebbles and other small rocks to build a nest. During mating season, the male penguin will give a pebble to the female penguin he likes as a gift. If the female accepts the gift, they will mate for life. Pebbles are a symbol of affection towards their mate.

Final Words

Having a pet penguin is illegal, and even if you have given a permit to own one, do you really want to have one? Remember, penguins are high-maintenance animals. Also, it is cruel to keep a penguin in captivity alone. If you want a pet, don’t get a penguin. There are many alternatives out there that are as adorable as penguins. 

Do you like what you read? Feel free to share us on any of your social media accounts! 


Jake Willhoite
Jake runs and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
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