beach donkey.


A plucky penguin at the New England Aquarium has a new bounce in her step after being fitted with a pair of custom orthopedic sandals. The 24-year-old African penguin, named Beach Donkey, was diagnosed with a chronic foot condition common among avian species, and the sandals were crafted as part of her treatment plan. But getting her to happily wear them required some buttering up by the people who know her best.

“Field trips” around the aquarium served as incentives: The little bird enjoyed “novel views” as she strolled through the facility, allowing trainers to work with her feet in a more hands-on manner. “She has always been a curious bird and seemed to really like the opportunity to explore the aquarium, outside of her exhibit space. Of course, our staff also loved when she would make appearances in unexpected places,” said Senior Penguin Trainer Amanda Barr.

In addition to caring for Beach Donkey and her fellow penguins, the New England Aquarium participates in a program called African Penguin SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction), which supports conservation efforts and breeding programs to increase the birds’ presence in the wild.


*i can so identify with beach donkey,

as i began wearing birkenstock sandals

when my feet (and my doc)

rebelled against me going barefoot any longer

changed my world

and i have my own cool name too – peaches

we are almost twins.


photo credit: new england aquarium, nice news

76 responses »

  1. Oh Peaches, what a heart-warming and happy story! I‘m also a confirmed sandal wearer for quite a long time now. My feet got larger during my time in England, where not much footwear was needed due to the clement weather conditions. I also love espadrilles of which I must have some 15+ pairs in all patterns and colours….. Not good for the feet but they just must put up with me 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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