Penguin with arthritis gets special shoes to provide relief

Penguin with arthritis gets special shoes to provide relief

An innovative pair of shoes have been made for this elderly penguin in a Los Angeles zoo.

Penguin with arthritis gets shoes to provide relief

Some of us have experienced our dogs get older and older and just grow tired and less playful. We can say the same for this penguin in a Los Angeles zoo that got specially designed shoes for him to alleviate his arthritis. 

The penguin, named Enrique, can be found at St. Louis Zoo and managed to live way longer than they had imagined and estimated. He arrived at the zoo in 2016 and according to the zookeepers, they estimate he is 30 years old, which three times the life expectancy for his species in the wild.

He has developed arthritis in his feet and started to find it hard to freely and swiftly move over the past year.

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Dr Jimmy Johnson, the zoo's veterinarian, shared that they had to get creative with making Enrique's life easier and aiding him with the arthritis. "That's where the boots came in," he share with their local newspaper. 

Veterinarians said Enrique also developed larger, thicker calluses at the bottom of his feet, another sign of the disorder. 

The St Louis Zoo staff took to Thera-Paw, which is a business which helps pets live active lives. Their products are designed to reduce discomfort, support injured limbs, and improve mobility. Thera-Paw, based in New Jersey, helped make the boots for Enrique, who received the first prototype in September. It took one more month for Enrique to receive his custom pair.

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They describe the shoes to be black strap-ons with red grips at the bottom. They put them on Enrique in the morning and take them off at night before he goes to bed.

Since wearing the boots, zoo officials said Enrique hadn’t required much in the way of medicine for his feet and gets around pretty quickly. They used to treat him with various medicines and treatments, but kept re-applying it every time he got in and out of the water.

"We always say his longevity is a credit to the zoo continuing to provide him with great care and expert husbandry," Johnson also shared with the local newspaper. "We’re lucky to have had him with us for such a long time."

It's cool to witness innovation go beyond just the release of a new phone or a cellular-controlled fireplace. Nature deserves that kind of attention and we could not be happier for Enrique and his new kicks! 

Have a look at the video about Enrique here.

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Main Image Courtesy: Pexels 

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