Caretakers at Newport Aquarium rally behind paralyzed penguin's - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Caretakers at Newport Aquarium rally behind paralyzed penguin's progress

Penguins have a unique molting process. They shed all of their feathers at once. (Newport Aquarium) Penguins have a unique molting process. They shed all of their feathers at once. (Newport Aquarium)
Introducing Victoria to her “snow spa” behind the scenes. It helped her stay cool during her molting process. (Newport Aquarium) Introducing Victoria to her “snow spa” behind the scenes. It helped her stay cool during her molting process. (Newport Aquarium)
NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) -

In honor of World Penguin Day, Newport Aquarium caretakers are rallying behind one of their own who is on the road to recovery from a medical defect.

Victoria as a hole in her spinal cord that impact her nerves, but with the care and love from those dedicated to her recovery she’s making great strides.

According to the aquarium, Senior Biologist Dan Clady, first noticed something was wrong with Victoria in February 2017.

She was seen laying around Penguin Palooza - not walking. 

After about a month of testing and being on medication nothing changed. That’s when a CT scan revealed the defect.

Clady said the best physical therapy for Victoria was to get her back in the water - and to make sure she’s spending time with her fellow feathered friends.

“These are colonial birds, they don’t like being alone,” Clady said. Victoria gets physical therapy every day, and you can find her swimming in Penguin Palooza from 8:30-2:30 daily for her water therapy. Victoria is easily identified thanks to a red tag on both of her wings. She’s the one swimming in circles in the exhibit, as she makes progress on her left foot.  She now has full control of her right foot," he said. 

Now, a year later, she’s able to prop herself up.

“The upside is she is able to swim, and that’s ideal for her mental attitude and physical therapy. She’s maintained a sense of mental balance. Without that, I think she would’ve deteriorated,” Newport Aquarium’s Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Peter Hill said.

The animal care team continues to work with Victoria as she improves. 

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