By: Heather Lang/KDKA-TV
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A one-of-a-kind penguin is thriving at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.READ MORE: Red Pandas Explore Snowy Habitat At Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Floppy, the gentoo penguin, is 1-year-old and only has one wing. It was amputated in September after aquarists discovered swelling and a broken bone, the zoo said.
Zookeepers monitored Floppy for several weeks, but because the bone was not healing properly, it was decided amputation was the best option.
The surgery was done on Sept. 8.
As part of his recovery, Floppy had to re-learn how to swim, dive, float, navigate his habitat, and exit the water. Zoo officials said he is adapting and doing very well.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Zoo And PPG Aquarium Offering 1-Day Free Admission On Tuesday For Non-Perishable Donations
He is recovering so well that zookeepers reintroduced him to the colony just before the new year.
“The Animal Care team has closely monitored his progress and has been pleased every step of the way. He is able to perform most activities fairly well, and the staff of the PPG Aquarium has installed a ramp so that he that can better enter and exit the water. In late 2021, Floppy was reintroduced to the colony and can now often be seen publicly in his habitat,” the zoo said.
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Floppy is now believed to be the only penguin at a zoo or aquarium in the United States with an amputated wing, the zoo said.
The public can see Floppy and view the penguin colony habitat year-round in PPG Aquarium. For now, Floppy won’t be taking part in the Penguin Parade on winter weekends at the zoo.MORE NEWS: Lynx At Pittsburgh Zoo Tests Positive For COVID-19
Penguins have a life expectancy of about 10-15 years in the wild, but they can reach over 30 years of age in aquariums, the zoo said.