San Diego Zoo penguin fitted with orthopaedic footwear

Custom shoes have been created for the four-year-old penguin named Lucas.

San Diego Zoo penguin fitted with orthopaedic footwear

A member of the San Diego Zoo’s African penguin colony has been fitted with orthopaedic footwear to help it deal with a degenerative foot condition.

The four-year-old penguin named Lucas has lesions on his feet due to a chronic condition known as bumblefoot, which covers a range of avian foot problems, the San Diego Wildlife Alliance said in a press release.

The zoo’s wildlife care specialists turned to an organisation called Thera-Paw, which creates rehabilitative and assistive products for animals with special needs.

Wildlife care specialists Debbie Dention, left, and Lara Jones watch as penguin Lucas tests custom orthopaedic footwear at the San Diego Zoo (Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance via AP)

The penguin’s problems began more than three years ago.

African penguins have suffered a massive population decline and are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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