SNN (ScrollingNetworkNews) ✿ ✿ Our Mel and Sydney returned to their nesting box with plenty of bonding occurring..but after 2.5 months of Sydney in the box from Dec 2013 to mid Feb 2014, the lack of prey gifts from Mel ( perhaps due to the severe and historic drought underway in California)and they have forgone the nesting process this year as many other raptors ✿ Compared to other owls of similar size, the Barn Owl has a much higher metabolic rate, requiring relatively more food. Pound for pound, Barn Owls consume more rodents – often regarded as pests by humans – than possibly any other creature. ✿ We remind viewers that sometimes owlets may not survive - the parents will dispose of things in "The Owl Way" -viewer discretion is advised, this is nature and the "Owl way". ✿ ~ ✿ “Animals, like us, are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being.” ― Gary Kowalski, The Souls of Animals ✿ Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." ~ E.O. Wilson

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A big step for a little shoe

Yes, that penguin is wearing a shoe! Sandal company Teva came to the rescue of a young Humboldt penguin named Lucky with an impaired foot at the Santa Barbara Zoo by making a special shoe that lets him walk, jump and swim.

“It is not uncommon for chicks of many bird species to have ‘splayed legs’ as a result of being underneath their parents,” said bird keeper Rachel Miller, in a press release from Teva. “They usually respond to treatment. But Lucky didn’t.” Lucky was examined and x-rayed. No bones were broken, but the young chick’s leg was not developing normally. Treatments, including splints, weren't working. The idea for the shoe came when, at the age of two months, Lucky developed sores from putting pressure on the wrong parts of his foot when he jumped. To treat the sores, veterinarians and zookeepers began wrapping the penguin’s foot and padding the heel. “We remembered that years ago, Teva had fashioned a special boot for an elephant in San Antonio with foot issues,” added Miller. "We thought, if they can make a big elephant boot, they may be able to make a little penguin one.”

They measured Lucky's leg and foot, made models and sketches and experimented with different waterproof fabrics and designs. Teva designers hand-made several shoes for Lucky to try. The final version used cutting-edge technologies to make the shoe waterproof and ensure that Lucky doesn't lose his footing going in and out of the water.

Teva's design team volunteered hundreds of hours to design and make Lucky's shoe, and the company has committed to providing footwear for the penguin's entire lifespan.