One-flippered penguin Nauj is lucky to be alive, let alone become a father!
After being rescued from near Melbourne’s St Kilda Pier, the little penguin has spent the past two years learning how to swim, with a little help from the Melbourne Zoo staff.
“When he was brought in we realised he didn’t have a wing… it was completely sheered off on one side,” Melbourne Zoo wild sea keeper Beth Geraldine said.
Unfortunately, his swimming and diving abilities aren’t strong enough for the wild.
“He is able to come and feed from us at the bucket,” Geraldine explained.
“If he were in the wild he would have to swim very quickly and very deep to chase those prey items, and having one wing he wouldn’t be able to do that.”
Despite his adversity, life is good for Nauj who now shares parenting duties with his female partner.
“As time’s progressed, we’ve seen him do a lot more feeding of the chick. He’s eating 20 to 30 fish a day and he’s a lot more attentive,” Geraldine said.
The yet to be named baby penguin and his father are both on show at Melbourne Zoo.