A penguin at the San Diego Zoo is receiving top notch medical care and lots of love after brilliant teams of specialists built a pair of shoes that will benefit his quality of life.
Yes, you read that correctly. Shoes for a penguin!
Lucas is a 4-year-old penguin and “prominent member” of the San Diego Zoo’s penguin colony, according to a press release on their website. He isn’t your ordinary penguin and has been on quite a journey with his health.
According to the press release, three years ago, Lucas had developed a spinal infection. This led to him having weak muscles in his legs and wasn’t able to stand upright properly. This condition forced Lucas to “rest on areas of his ankles that would not normally touch the ground.”
The zoo’s fantastic medical team did what they could to help the poor little guy by providing him with physical therapy, medication and acupuncture treatments. Sadly, nothing was improving his condition. To make things even worse, Lucas began developing sores on his feet and legs.
Lucas had developed a chronic condition called bumblefoot, which the statement describes as an “umbrella term for a range of avian degenerative foot conditions ranging from mild redness to deep abscesses.” If left untreated, it can be deadly.
The teams at the zoo had an idea to call Thera-Paw, an organization that builds and designs “rehabilitative and assistive products for animals with special needs.” How neat is that?
Thera-Paw was able to build Lucas an awesome pair of orthopedic boots. According to the press release, the boots are made out of rubber and neoprene.
Facebook; pictured above is Lucas