Your neighbors in the nest – the aggressive Gromit and the lovely Roxy – have laid three eggs here. The first northern penguins born in South Africa hatch. Because rockhoppers – more appropriately called rockhoppers in English (roughly: rockhoppers) – are not native to South Africa. Its natural habitat consists of two separate regions of subtropical islands (southern South America) and sub-Antarctic (southern Australia and New Zealand).
13 rock hoppers have been rescued at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. Teddy was one of the first. He was found in December 1999 with his legs tied with wires. “We assume he was kept on a ship ‘as a pet’ and thrown into the sea with his legs tied shortly before his arrival in Cape Town,” Rutgers said. That’s why today limping. When he got into the aquarium, he was completely grown up. “We estimate that he is about 30 years old now.” This makes “Teddy” an old man – because in the wild, penguins tend to live from 10 to 15 years.
They grow up in captivity. But then they swim less, so they stand on their feet longer — often in their litter, Rutgers explains. Bacterial infection forms in many small wounds on her feet, also called soles ulcers. The park ranger picks up Teddy and puts him on his forearm in a prone position. “With Teddy you can see that very well,” she says, slowly peeling the pink bandage off her feet. On the sole of the frequently used nails, you can see the point notch.
Teddy chews when Rutgers touches her lightly with his finger. “It’s like a painful purulent pimple,” she explains. And who can walk on purulent blisters? That’s why Teddy and some of his older buddies are now wearing a pink protective bandage. Rutgers can now quickly wear it. Today the bandages are purple. “Since the video was so successful, we didn’t have a pink bandage to order,” she says and laughs, putting Teddy on his newly strapped feet and we’re off. Nothing hurts in the water anymore. Twist left, twist right, wiggle your tail and go – at lightning speed. Pink shimmer, because even a 30-year-old penguin is still a real hit in the water.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210713-99-361395/ 3