Taipei Zoo emperor penguins wear high-tech footwear on morning walks (2020/05/22)
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  • 英文 English 
    Taipei Zoo emperor penguins wear high-tech footwear on morning walks (2020/05/22)

    This time of year, Taipei Zoo has a special daily routine for its penguins. A zookeeper appears every morning to take the birds on a stroll around their enclosure. Zookeepers say vigorous walking helps to strengthen the muscles in the penguins' legs, which can boost the odds of a successful mating. Some penguins go barefoot, while others wear 3D-printed shoes to protect their delicate feet.

    Eight emperor penguins waddle in a neat line. Their clumsy gait is an adorable sight to behold. Every morning from 9 to 9:30, a zookeeper enters their enclosure at Taipei zoo and accompanies them on a morning walk.

    Some penguins get tired fast. Others slack off. This is when the zookeeper gives them a talking-to and nudges them forward. But why are these penguins going on morning strolls? The answer has to do with mating season.

    Wang Yi-min
    In the mornings, we get the penguins to go on a walk. Their daily morning walk is 30 minutes long. We do it so that their leg muscles get stronger. It's beneficial for breeding.

    If you look closely, you'll notice some of the penguins are wearing black shoes. This 3D-printed footwear covers the delicate soles of their feet. Shoes keep the penguins' feet from touching excrement on the floor, which could lead to severe infections.

    Wang Yi-min
    This year we have the footwear to help us. We've been keeping an eye on them and their injuries really have been improving.

    But how do the zookeepers get the penguins to put the shoes on?

    Wang Yi-min
    We make sure the animal is in a calm state of mind. Our zookeepers secure them appropriately and then our vets disinfect the soles of their feet. Actually, the shoes are made out of an elastic material, so putting them on isn't too difficult. The penguins don't really exhibit an aversion. So as long as the footwear doesn't throw off their balance, they are quite willing to accept footwear.

    The shoes are waterproof, slip-resistant, and elastic. The zoo currently has three pairs. The penguins take turns wearing them, and the shoes get disinfected regularly. Penguins with wounds on their feet recover faster, allowing them to return to their morning walks sooner. With more stamina and leg strength, zookeepers hope the penguins will have a better shot at reproducing this season.
    中文 Chinese  
    企鵝穿特製"鞋套"護腳掌 還是3D列印的




    [[木柵動物園企鵝館館長 王怡敏]]


    [[木柵動物園企鵝館館長 王怡敏]]


    [[木柵動物園企鵝館館長 王怡敏]]


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