Penguin acupuncture!

By Renee Leeuwner / 20 February 2013

Teddy the rockhopper penguin came to the Aquarium in 1999. Like all the rockhoppers at the Aquarium, Teddy was found stranded on a Western Cape beach. To learn more about how the rockhoppers end up at the Aquarium click here.

We think Teddy’s feet were bound together for a long time, while he was being held on a fishing vessel. As a result, he limps and suffers from arthritis. To ease the pressure on his feet, we keep a very close eye on his weight, he is carried between the penguin areas and we encourage him to swim as much as possible. The cold water seems to relieve the swelling, and helps Teddy to move with more ease. 

All photos by Renee Leeuwner All photos by Renee Leeuwner

Teddy has also undergone an operation on his right foot, had pulse magnetic therapy and receives medical attention on a regular basis.

At the moment he is undergoing an extended series of acupuncture treatments and receives a herbal supplement daily.  We thought you might enjoy seeing what it takes to give a penguin some much-needed acupuncture therapy.

I have never had acupuncture and had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly and efficiently the needles were inserted, and how Teddy didn’t seem to even notice them.

The needles used in Teddy’s acupuncture The needles used in Teddy’s acupuncture
On this day, Teddy received treatment to both his feet On this day, Teddy received treatment to both his feet
And to his back And to his back
He also received low-level or cold laser therapy to his feet He also received low-level or cold laser therapy to his feet

We will continue to give Teddy the best treatment we possibly can. He is our old man of the sea, and we love him for it!

Come and see Teddy and the rest of the gang at the Sappi River Meander!

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