ARIZONA NEWS

OdySea trainers engineer device to help baby penguin overcome defect

Sep 1, 2020, 4:05 AM

PHOENIX – A penguin at OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale has a new lease on life after overcoming a birth defect with help from a device engineered by trainers.

Rosie, an 8-month-old African penguin with physical disabilities, underwent months of physical therapy to correct a skeletal deformity.

Typically, the animal care team take a hands-off approach to allow parents, Mojo and Lemieux, to take care of their new chick; however, they do complete regular “chick checks.”

During one of these checkups, the team noticed Rosie was unable to sit up on her own and her feet were misaligned.

The team installed cameras in the nest to observe the parents’ behavior. They discovered other penguins were crowding the nest, which the team believed was a result of being first-time parents.

“Our fear was that in their attempt to protect and incubate their baby, they were inhibiting Rosie’s ability to move about the nest area on her own and appropriately develop,” Jessica Peranteau, director of Animal Care and Education, said in a press release.

The team fashioned a penguin version of a baby jump-a-roo out of PVC piping and a baby onesie to help strengthen her core muscles and improve her balance.

Rosie progressed past the jump-a-roo to taking short daily walks with the sling alongside trainers. By mid-February, she was able to sit upright on her own and take a few steps without the assistance of trainers. From there, her therapy progressed to include water therapy and supervised swims.

“She now swims on her own and has navigated the easier exit points of the pool to get out without assistance,” Peranteau said. “She seems to really love the water and the socialization with other penguins that swimming brings

Rosie was the 9th chick to hatch at OdySea and the 39th penguin to join the habitat at the facility’s exhibit.

OdySea closed in March amid the coronavirus pandemic across the state, but they reopened in mid-May with heightened safety measures.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(AP File Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Arizona man sentenced to 15 years for selling fentanyl that caused fatal OD

An Arizona man was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in federal prison for supplying the fentanyl that killed a woman 2½ years ago.
23 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Pedestrian crossing street killed in Laveen following hit-and-run

Phoenix police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run collision after a pedestrian died Tuesday evening in Laveen Village.
23 hours ago
(Coronado National Forest Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Forest officials warn visitors about shipping container wall at Arizona border

Officials are warning Coronado National Forest visitors about potential safety hazards related to shipping container border wall construction in southern Arizona.
23 hours ago
Shaqueila Hudson (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
KTAR.com

Woman accused of fatally stabbing father during argument in Phoenix

A woman was arrested for allegedly stabbing her father to death during an argument Tuesday in Phoenix, authorities said.
23 hours ago
(Photos via Buckeye Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Buckeye Police boost reward to $12,000 for tips in fatal hit-and-run of 16-year-old girl

Authorities have upped the reward for tips in the fatal hit-and-run of a 16-year-old girl more than two years ago in Buckeye.
23 hours ago
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)...
KTAR.com

Mesa police fatally shoot man who allegedly drove into patrol vehicle

Police shot and killed a man who allegedly drove into a patrol vehicle outside a Mesa convenience store early Wednesday.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
OdySea trainers engineer device to help baby penguin overcome defect