March of the Bald Penguin
August 19 | 1 Comment
Wouldn’t Rock a Boat: The Hollywood Hairless
Turns out the baldness phenomenon extends to the penguin class, too. That’s right, those little guys who hang loose on the freezing terrain of Antarctica are born with feathers, which they inevitably lose.
Oh sure, some try to hang on to their youth by using feather extensions but it’s all for naught. Mother Nature has a plan and that plan is to see every penguin naked as a jaybird. But sometimes, even she can be a little quick in carrying out her plan.
The Telegraph has the story about a prematurely balding penguin.
Unlike all his fellow Humboldt penguins, who lose their old feathers over a few weeks to make way for a fresh set, Ralph’s fell out in just one day.
And with nothing to protect him from the weather he was at risk of severe sun burn.
He faced spending a depressing three weeks indoors, away from his group and his young chicks.
No offense, but with Ralph’s balding he doesn’t have to worry about the chicks.
But keepers took pity on him and fashioned his own wetsuit from the leg of a suit which was donated by a member of staff’s husband.
“All the other penguins, on the other hand, were intrigued by his new clothes they spent a good while checking him out.
“But when they realised it was still Ralph under the suit they seemed quite happy and don’t really pay it any attention anymore.”
David White, who is assistant manager of Penguin World at Marwell, said he and colleagues thought about covering Ralph in suncream before hitting on the wetsuit idea.
Mr White, 31, said: “We noticed he was getting pink and feared suncream would just wash off so we decided to try to make him a wetsuit.
Ralph will now wear his suit for around three weeks while his new feathers grow.
“Everyone has commented on how cute he looks. He’s certainly become a favourite and I think he’ll become a bit of a star now.”
Hey, Barney Fife was a star too. That didn’t make him cool, either.
Here’s the video of Ralph in action.