Paralysed bird able to walk once more

ON ITS FEET: The rescued penguin at its new home. Picture: JUANITA RAATH
ON ITS FEET: The rescued penguin at its new home. Picture: JUANITA RAATH

Life is a breeze for an African penguin that can now shuffle about unaided after being found paralysed on a beach near Plettenberg Bay in December.

The as yet unnamed penguin, whose sex is also undetermined, was taken to the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sanccob) in St Francis Bay.

It went there after a short stint at Plettenberg Bay’s Tenikwa Wildlife and Rehabilitation Centre.

It arrived at Tenikwa after a member of the public took pity on the bird, whose near-lifeless body was found on a beach near Buffels Bay.

Sanccob rehabilitation coordinator Juanita Raath said: “We received the penguin in January with suspected swelling on the spinal column.” It had no visible injuries. The penguin was entrusted to Sanccob’s care after St Francis Bay resident Eric Stewart, who often cycles past the Sanccob rescue centre and is friendly with the staff, saw the bird and knew he needed to help.

After suffering a stroke in his 20s and a second in his 30s, Stewart had to learn to walk again. His little charge would also need to find its feet again.

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