News Good News Melbourne Zoo’s one-flipper penguin doing just fine, especially when turning left
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Melbourne Zoo’s one-flipper penguin doing just fine, especially when turning left

Zookeeper Beth Geraldene her one-flippered penguin some TLC at Melbourne Zoo. AAP/David Crosling
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He’s a penguin with just one wing, no name and he swims a bit to the left, but Melbourne Zoo vets have given him a clean bill of health.

The as-yet-unnamed little penguin was found on a St Kilda beach in October with a wound where his flipper used to be.

He has since been cared for by vets at Melbourne Zoo, who were pleased to report a clean bill of health – and a huge weight gain – on Friday.

“At this time of the year … they put on a lot of weight,” head vet Dr Michael Lynch told reporters.

The injured penguin arrived at Melbourne Zoo on a wing and prayer but is now a chubby ball of feathers.           AAP/David Crosling

“He’s double the weight of a normal little penguin but that’s fine.”

Although he is unable to hunt, and therefore can’t go back to the wild, after two months’ care he was able to join the Zoo’s colony in December.

“We had to see if he could swim and dive and he’s ticked all those boxes and he’s really settled into the group here, he’s a really chilled out bird,” Dr Lynch said.

And for those wondering – the little guy can swim in a straight line.

“He uses his feet a lot more than the other penguins but he does swim in a straight line,” Mark Keenan, Coordinator of the AGL Marine Response Unit said.
“He does have the tendency to make a sharp left, but he doesn’t swim in circles.”

-AAP