Bagpipes the penguin has new happy feet!
In 2007, a little blue penguin lost his left foot when it got caught in a fishing line. He was rescued and hereby named, Bagpipes. But this week, Bagpipes got a new 3D printed limb fitted for him, and now he’s back on two feet!
Fun fact: Bagpipes was found by a Scottish man who originally wanted to name Bagpipes ‘Haggis’. For all of those who don’t know what that is, it’s a Scottish pudding, traditionally consisting of a stuffed sheep’s stomach. Thankfully, the penguin keepers working with Bagpipes managed to get him to name him Bagpipes instead!
In the short clip, it shoes Bagpipes taking his first new tentative and wobbly little steps. He has spent the last ten years hobbling around with a stump covered in foam to support his weight. New Zealand penguin keepers at the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch commented on how he has been maneuvering his body when getting out the pool, and how he has been using parts he should not be using, like his flippers and beak. Hopefully, his new prosthetic will be able to help him move like he used to be able to.
Bagpipes’ prosthetic is the first of its kind to be fitted to a wild animal in New Zealand. It may have proved something of a challenge, between Bagpipes’ excited wiggling and the meticulous scanning and fitting process of the prothetic, but in the end, Bagpipes has a new foot, so it’s all worth it!
Getting used to his new foot was a little bit of a struggle for Bagpipes; he tumbled a few times, falling on his back and stumbling into walls, but his doctors are confident that he’ll be back to walking in no time at all.
Congratulations to you, Bagpipes! We wish you a speedy recovery and many happy years of happy feet!