Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Dec. 6, 2022

Linkedin Pinterest

Penguin fitted with orthopedic footwear

The Columbian
Published:
2 Photos
Wildlife care specialists Debbie Dention, left, and Lara Jones watch as a penguin named Lucas tests custom orthopedic footwear at the San Diego Zoo.
Wildlife care specialists Debbie Dention, left, and Lara Jones watch as a penguin named Lucas tests custom orthopedic footwear at the San Diego Zoo. (Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance) Photo Gallery

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A member of the San Diego Zoo’s African penguin colony has been fitted with orthopedic footwear to help it deal with a degenerative foot condition.

The 4-year-old penguin named Lucas has lesions on his feet due to a chronic condition known as bumblefoot, which covers a range of avian foot problems, the San Diego Wildlife Alliance said Monday in a press release.

If left untreated, bumblefoot could lead to sepsis and death by infection.

The zoo’s wildlife care specialists turned to an organization called Thera-Paw, which creates rehabilitative and assistive products for animals with special needs.

Thera-Paw created custom shoes made of neoprene and rubber to prevent pressure sores from developing when Lucas stands and walks.

African penguins have suffered a massive population decline and are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Loading...