Penguin in Boots


Ava Alkire, Author

     A little penguin at the San Diego Zoo has a condition called bumblefoot which was discovered on September 6th, 2022 because he was having a spinal infection and it weakened his leg muscles to where it was hard for him to stand up. 

     Thera Paw, a company that the San Diego Zoo works with, made the orthopedic boots. This condition makes walking/waddling painful for penguins, this is why he got custom-made boots so he can waddle easily again pain-free!

     This condition can affect all birds but if not treated properly it can cause injury or potential death.  Penguins get this condition if they have been on hard or rocky surfaces for a long time and have not been in the water a lot. Captive penguins are prone to get this disease. Luca, the penguin’s bumblefoot is permanent but the boots help him walk on rocky areas and be more playful!

     These boots don’t stop Luca from doing anything from before, he can still swim, climb on rocks, nest, and find a mate. Everyone was super surprised by the sudden change. It worked right away and they noticed him being able to stand easier and play again.