Zoo Fires Worker for Wearing "Slutty Penguin" Halloween Costume
The 350-pound employee, who was not identified but referred to by coworkers as "David," was sent home immediately before the zoo's traditional noontime Children's Halloween Parade after a fracas erupted in the penguin habitat. Thirteen penguins were injured and three others were placed in an isolated enclosure.
Zoo spokesman Jeff Garrett said that the penguins had become agitated "in a manner consistent with mating rituals" when "David" wobbled into the parade lineup. "We can't have that kind of distraction--these animals need to be treated with respect." When "David" refused to cover himself or adapt his costume to another theme, he was sent home.
"This was a children's event, and his costume was inappropriate for the occasion," Garrett said.
"David's" discrimination lawsuit, filed hours later by Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, alleged that the zoo singled out "David" and categorically ignored other troublesome Children's Parade costumes such as Slutty Vampire, Slutty Big Bird, Slutty Dora, and Slutty Siamese Twins.
Penguin handler Lucky Rice would not comment on the incident. "I just got everybody calmed down," he said. "I hate Halloween."