A SeaWorld Orlando penguin has shed her protective wetsuit and grown a fresh coat of feathers.

Wonder Twin, a 26-year-old Adelie penguin, had experienced feather loss, which can happen to penguins in their natural habitats and wild populations. Penguins have about 100 short, stubby feathers per square inch that insulate them from the cold.

SeaWorld’s aviculture and wardrobe teams created a custom wetsuit in August that was designed to mimic her natural coat of feathers so she could regulate her body temperature.

Wonder Twin began preening the wetsuit as if it were her feathers. She started eating more and the wetsuit had to be altered to fit her larger figure.

SeaWorld vets noticed she began growing a new set of feathers and was starting to molt in December. They removed the protective suit and now she looks just like the 300 other penguins living at the park’s Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin exhibit.

Her transformation is just one example of the many animals who benefit daily from SeaWorld’s dedicated care and veterinary teams, according to a SeaWorld release.

Photos courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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