18 April 2011

No pity necessary for Mrs T

UNITED KINGDOM -  She may have lost an eye, but a macaroni penguin at Living Coasts in Devon is doing well.

Mrs T, described as a very laid-back penguin with good manners, was treated last September for a deep ulcer in the corner of her left eye. Unfortunately, the treatment did not work and she lost her sight in that eye. A specialist medical glue was used, but the eye became infected and animal experts decided that the best course of action would be to remove it.

"The eye became infected, the penguin was very subdued due to discomfort so we opted to remove the source of pain," zoo vet Sarah Chapman told the media.

The delicate eye operation was performed at South Devon Referrals by Veterinary Specialist Ophthalmologist Jim Carter and fellow vet Ian Sayers. 

Ms Chapman said, "Jim has the equipment and the experience for this intricate work. Having his specialist knowledge close to hand was invaluable."

The penguin recuperated at Paignton Zoo’s Vet Centre before returning to Living Coasts. Mrs T is very close to her mate, and when she returned "she ran out of her crate to be reunited with Mr T, which was very moving," said Living Coasts Director Elaine Hayes.

Ms Hayes continued, "She has had to learn how to swim and feed with just one eye, and to deal with the crowds of other penguins and the occasional spot of aggression that goes along with life in a busy penguin colony."

"We are confident that she will settle back in and hope she will breed."

Sources
A penguin at Living Coasts Aquarium is doing well after losing an eye by Philip Knowling, 15 April 2011, Zoo and Aquarium Visitor
Penguin thrives despite losing an eye, 15 April 2011, Indepedent.ie 

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