A baby African penguin at the Maryland Zoo has undergone spinal surgery to repair a misaligned vertebrae from when it was born. This appears to be the first time it has been done and the chick is now in the process of healing. The veternarians said it would be a few weeks before they can see if the penguin will be able to rejoin its colony.
It’s interesting to read that the other penguins picked on this little guy because of it was having trouble walking, stumbling instead. If the rest of the colony still rejects him later, then the penguin will possibly be shown as an educational penguin so people can learn about his species at schools and other events. It would be a shame if they had to euthanize it because it would have to spend its entire life alone. Since penguins are very social creatures, it would probably be a very unhappy life for a exiled penguin. I’m sure they’ll go with the educational route. I can’t imagine a zoo doing the latter. That’d be horrible.
Veterinary intern Carol Bradford supports the penguin – who cannot stand on his own because of extensive spinal surgery – at the Maryland Zoo’s animal hospital.
Photo by Megan Hartley, Capital News Service.
Update (04/06/07): 10-63 was seeming to do better until last Friday. The cause of death is yet to be determined but it’s possibly he may have had a respiratory condition and complications set in after the surgery.