The penguin is now a permanent resident at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) in St Francis Bay. The public has been asked to give the bird a name, Netwerk24 reported.
SANCCOB marketing co-ordinator Nada Manengela said people should keep the penguin’s unique story in mind when suggesting names.
The paralysed bird was found on a beach in Buffels Bay in December 2015 and brought to SANCCOB.
The rehabilitation co-ordinator Juanita Raath said the penguin, whose sex had not been determined yet, had no visible injuries. They assumed he was paralysed by a hard knock on the head or spine.
Raath took the penguin through its physical therapy paces.
A resident of St Francis Bay, Eric Stewart, who had to re-learn to walk following a stroke a few years ago, heard about the paralysed penguin and built the bird a special walking frame.
“I got tears in my eyes when I saw the penguin for the first time and I wanted to do something to help,” Stewart said.
After only a month in its walking frame, the penguin’s muscles started strengthening. A couple of months later it got out of the harness and started waddling about unaided.
- Send your suggested name for the penguin to firstname.lastname@example.org and donate R20 with your suggestion.