12 September 2011

Risky operation for "greedy" penguin

UK - It looks like Happy Feet isn't the only penguin eating things that penguins shouldn't. Two-year-old Humboldt penguin Lola at the National Seal Sanctuary in Gweek had to undergo a risky operation after swallowing a hair grip that had fallen into her enclosure.

The Falmouth Packet reported that Sanctuary staff were alerted to the problem when Lola, who is renowned for her greedy appetite, refused to eat her fish. An X-ray at the vet's revealed a metal object in Lola's stomach, and meant staff had to make a tough decision about whether the vets should operate to remove it - a complicated procedure.

Tamara, head of the Sanctuary's animal care team, told The Falmouth Packet that staff were worried about how Lola would cope without her fellow penguins, but the bird's confident and gregarious nature gave them confidence that she would recover quickly.

"If there was ever a bird that would survive this sort of operation, we knew it would be Lola," she said.

And their confidence was well placed. After the operation and an overnight stay at the vet's, Lola returned to the Sanctuary where she was put in quarantine and received further treatment from the animal care team. Now she's back in the pool with her penguin pals, much to the delight of staff.

Attraction manager Sarah told The Falmouth Packet, “Lola was ecstatic to be back with the other penguins. They all flapped their wings and brayed loudly.”

Emergency operation for greedy penguin at seal sanctuary, 29 August 2011, Falmouth Packet

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