It is believed that the dwarf checkered penguin (Odiptula minor) is the first of its kind in the world to undergo an MRI scan. BBC Science reports
Shaka, who lives at the Sea Life Center in Weymouth, underwent an MRI at Cave Veterinary Specialists in Somerset.
Chaka’s balance problem was investigated because she sometimes wobbled when she was a little girl. The study is a landmark in veterinary medicine.
Cave vet specialist Pippa Tucker said the MRI was something completely new to the team and the biggest challenge was ensuring Xhaka was comfortable. Unlike cats and dogs, which are routinely medicated, penguins can hold their breath for long periods of time, so the specialized team made sure to keep a close eye on Chuck during the test.
Chaka’s results show that there are no harmful health problems, and his study provides vast new knowledge. It is hoped that the information gathered during the study will help protect the world’s wild pygmy penguin populations, which are the smallest of 17 species.
Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park is home to Europe’s only pygmy penguin colony. Kiko Iraola, curator of Sea Life Weymouth, said Chaka became a pioneer penguin. Although his baby may still be a bit shaky, he’s made great strides in the field of veterinary science and the penguin world.
(Source: BBC: https://www.bbc.com/)
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