Meet Pierre, a 25-year-old Jackass penguin (because they bray like donkeys) who got too cold to swim because he was going bald. So, the biologists at the California Academy of Sciences made him a penguin wetsuit!
Pierre, a venerable 25 years old, was going bald, which left him with an embarrassingly exposed, pale pink behind.
Unlike marine mammals, which have a layer of blubber to keep them warm, penguins rely on their waterproof feathers. Without them, Pierre was unwilling to plunge into the academy's penguin tank and ended up shivering on the sidelines while his 19 peers played in the water.
"He was cold; he would shake," said Pam Schaller, a senior aquatic biologist at the academy. [...]
Staff at Oceanic Worldwide, a supplier of dive gear based in San Leandro, were enthusiastic about making a real penguin suit.
"We were really excited to do it," said Teo Tertel, company marketing specialist. "We heard most of these penguins only live to 20, and our little buddy there was already 25. Anything we could do to help them, we were all for it."
And the wetsuit did Pierre a world of wonders:
One concern was that the other penguins would reject Pierre in his new duds, but in fact, they accepted his sleek new look.
Pierre was outfitted with the suit about six weeks ago. Since then, he has gained weight, grown back feathers on his hind parts and is again acting like his feisty, alpha-male self.
Link: News article at Yahoo! News by Michelle Locke (Photo: Eric Risberg/AP Photo) - Thanks Tiffany!