Trip Start Jan 05, 2009
29Trip End Mar 12, 2009
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Where I stayed
some things take a while to figure out at SANCCOB which is frustrating but today i got some good clarity on our little penguin chick. this is the chick that i couldn't see in its nest when i visited Two Oceans Aquarium. it is the baby to two of their captive penguins so it's not eligible for release, thus we are taming it for educational purposes. i get it now. they came to pick up our little friend today and we were all reluctant to let him leave. many photos and scritches were had before Monique took him away.
027 was a really feisty penguin when he came in during the last week. i needed to use a towel to pick him up for fear of losing a digit. it was intense. unfortunately he went downhill pretty quickly. the other penguins in Pen 2 started to peck at him last night. we put him in a crate for protection and this morning when i picked him up, he was very limp. sadly, he died about 10 minutes later. i of course cried for many reasons but have to say that this sad situation had an interesting turn because the vet was there today to do a necropsy on him. i really wanted to see it and understand what happened to him. first, this is the only way we knew he was a boy. second, it only proved how powerful these birds are. the breast muscle is massive. i was impressed. 027 died from a major hematoma on his left thigh muscle. it was about 4x the size of his right thigh. i couldn't believe it. we don't know how the injury happened but it was very obvious why he died. poor guy.
despite how many bites i have received and how many struggles i have had with these penguins, i am going to miss them so much. Sunday is my last day if you can believe that!