The Beacon

Ralph Suits Up

Can you imagine waking up one day, completely hairless? In addition to being a little chilly, you would also be susceptible to a pretty nasty sunburn. This is Ralph’s problem.

An otherwise normal Humboldt penguin at Marwell Wildlife in England, Ralph molts all in one day instead of gradually losing one set of feathers while the new coat grows in. This leaves his delicate skin completely bare and unprotected from the sun’s damaging rays. Park keepers weren’t sure how to deal with the problem – keep him indoors for weeks while his new feathers come in, constantly slather him in sunscreen – until they fashioned him his own penguin-size diving suit from the leg of a neoprene wetsuit.

Now Ralph is free to run amok with his family and friends while his feathers come in, safe from sun damage. Check out the Daily Mail article for photos and a video of Ralph paddling about.


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