2020/5/27  
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
    Zookeeper
    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
    Zookeeper
    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
    Zookeeper
    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

    每年四、五月,國王企鵝會迎來繁殖季,台北市立立動物園的保育員,最近每天都會帶企鵝晨走特訓,增強體力和腳力、提高繁殖成功率,部分企鵝腳上還穿了黑色鞋套!原來這是特製專屬3D列印鞋套,避免企鵝們腳底受傷,又踩踏到糞尿,加重感染。

    八隻國王企鵝,排排站整齊走路,呆頭晃腦的模樣,真的超級萌。每天上午九點到九點半,動物園的企鵝館,都會進行晨走訓練。

    有企鵝走累了,甚至偷懶不想動,這時候就有勞保育員溫柔又嚴厲的催促。但為何得晨走訓練,原來是繁殖季要到了。

    [[木柵動物園企鵝館館長 王怡敏]]
    "早上我們讓企鵝晨走,就是每天有三十分鐘的晨走,希望牠能讓牠的腳部肌肉可以比較強健,這的確比較有利於繁殖。"

    仔細看有些企鵝腳底還踏了黑壓壓的東西,這是動物園的新法寶,3D列印鞋套,特別讓那些腳底受感染的國王企鵝穿上,完整包覆腳掌,避免踩踏到地面糞尿,導致感染加劇。

    [[木柵動物園企鵝館館長 王怡敏]]
    "今年有腳套的幫助,我們可以觀察到,牠的傷口有非常顯著明顯的進步。"

    不過企鵝們怎麼肯配合穿上這腳套?保育員一度上演穿鞋大戰。

    [[木柵動物園企鵝館館長 王怡敏]]
    "我們確保動物可以比較一個穩定狀態,我們保育員會進行適度的保定,這時候我們獸醫師,就會針對牠的腳部進行消毒。這個其實是它本身布料具有延展性,所以在套上腳的過程並不會太困難,牠並不會有太激烈的反應,所以只要這個腳套,不要造成牠的一個站姿不平衡,牠其實是很容易去接受這樣的腳套。"

    鞋套防水止滑、有延展性,一共有三副鞋套,定期更換消毒。腳底受傷的企鵝穿上後,能加速復原,讓他們重回晨走行列,增加體力腳力,希望趕上繁殖季,交配成功率會更高。

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