P15 arrived on the 23rd of March and will remain in care until her coordination improves. An older female penguin, P15 was found on beach rocks critically underweight, very dehydrated and suffering brain trauma. Her pupils (fixed, dilated and uneven) and bulging eyes indicated that she had severe brain swelling. The brain trauma affected her vision, balance, coordination and muscle strength. During the first three days in care her eyes gradually began to respond to light, and after three days it became apparent that she could once again see. Veterinary assessment on day six showed there was still blood pooling behind her right eye.
For the first three weeks, P15 looked to P7 for direction and would follow her around. This rather confused P7 as she was a much younger, less dominant bird. Much to P7’s relief, as P15 regained health she became much more dominant.
Once she started to become self aware again, P15 would go to the north wall of the enclosure at dusk and call for her mate. This continued for about three weeks. Since then she has attached herself more to P7 and, when she wants company, will call for her. A very vocal penguin, she has taught P7 to be much more vocal, and she now voices a series of increasingly sharp barks when she is looking for P15. P15 has a tendency to snap if cornered—and her carer has the scars to prove it!
If you find a penguin (or any other wildlife) injured or in distress, please call one of the following: