Bizarre objects eaten by Edinburgh Zoo's penguins revealed by surgery

Updated: 

Bizarre objects eaten by Edinburgh Zoo's penguins revealed by surgery

A vet at Edinburgh Zoo has revealed a list for bizarre objects he's removed from some of the penguins' stomachs - including batteries.

Romain Pizzi, 38, who has presented on nature shows on the BBC and Channel 4, was speaking at the eighth International Penguin Conference in Bristol about keyhole surgery techniques he'd used on "difficult" patient who'd swallowed foreign objects.

He revealed he's removed various objects from a number of Edinburgh Zoo's 70 gentoo penguins, including sticks, twigs, stones, gloves, children's socks, lollypop sticks, batteries, a broken broom handle and coins.

According to the Edinburgh News, he said: "A penguin's intestine is very compact, with sharp angles, and even an oak leaf can cause problems.

"It is a very rare occurrence for animals at Edinburgh Zoo to swallow hazardous materials. However, due to the very inquisitive nature of our gentoo penguins, they do have a habit of eating things they shouldn't, which is why we stress to our visitors to not throw objects into the enclosure."

A zoo spokeswoman told the Express "Our keepers are extremely vigilant, but unfortunately the combination of wind, visitors and ultra-curious penguins has on the rare occasion led to one of our birds eating something they shouldn't."

Mr Pizzi, from Midlothian, has carried out 22 operations on the penguins in four years.

Related articles

Six penguins die at London Zoo after malaria outbreak

'Gay' penguins get their own egg to look after