A Humboldt penguin at the National Seal Sanctuary in Gweek had to be rushed to the vets after swallowing a hair grip which had fallen into her enclosure.

Two year old Lola, who is renowned for her greedy appetite, swallowing the grip which staff think, had fallen accidentally into her enclosure. Staff at the Sanctuary was alerted to a problem after Lola refused to eat her fish. An x ray at the vets uncovered a metal object in Lola’s stomach. Staff at the Sanctuary made the heart wrenching decision to allow vets to operate, despite the complicated procedure being risky. Tamara, head of the sanctuary’s animal care team, said: “We were desperately worried about Lola because we weren’t sure how she would cope without her penguin pool mates but she’s a confident and gregarious penguin which gave us confidence for a speedy recovery.

“If there was ever a bird that would survive this sort of operation, we knew it would be Lola.”

After a touch and go operation and an overnight stay at the vets, Lola returned to the sanctuary where she was kept in quarantine and received further treatment from the animal care team. Staff were delighted to see Lola reunited with her pool partners. Attraction manager Sarah said “Lola was ecstatic to be back with the other penguins. They all flapped their wings and brayed loudly.”