Super cute penguin alert: Lucky the Humboldt and his custom Teva shoe. (Photo: Sheri Horiszny)
Last year, Lucky, a Humboldt penguin, was born at the Santa Barbara Zoo with an impaired foot. At the age of two months, he started developing sores from putting pressure on the wrong parts of his foot while he hopped.
Zoo vets and keepers looking for a solution began wrapping the penguin’s foot and padding his heel.
“We remembered that years ago, Teva had fashioned a special shoe for an elephant with foot issues in San Antonio,” said Zoo CEO Rich Block. “Teva’s headquarters is located just a few miles from our zoo and we thought, if they can make a big elephant boot, they may be able to make a little penguin one.”
Teva's design team responded immediately, measuring the penguin's leg and foot, making casts and multiple versions. The result is a lightweight custom penguin shoe that provides traction, sheds water, and cushions Lucky's foot.
Thanks to Teva, Lucky can now walk, hop, and swim like the other penguins.
Teva has committed to providing Lucky with shoes for life. A children's book about Lucky is expected this fall.