Wednesday 16 June 2010

Bald penguin gets sunburn protection wetsuit

June 15, 2010 5:10 PM

A bald penguin at a UK wildlife centre have been given a specially designed wetsuit to protect him getting sunburn over the summer.

Ralph, a ten year old Humboldt penguin suffers from a moulting problem which causes him to lose all of his feathers within a couple of days.

This means that unlike other penguins - who moult as new feathers grow - his pink skin is left exposed and he could easily get sunburn.

A spokesperson for Marwell Wildlife in Hampshire said the wet suit is made from neoprene, has velcro fastening and was made to measure… well even we didn't think you could buy penguin wetsuits in the average surf shop.

Dave White, Head Keeper for the penguins added: "The stretchy material lets Ralph move around normally.

"The added benefit of the Velcro means that as his new feathers grow through we will be able to adjust it’s size, so it’s always comfy for him.

"At the moment he is sitting on two eggs with his partner Coral and she seems happy enough with his new look."

Marwell Wildlife

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