MYSTIC, Conn. (WWLP) – Pictures and a video from behind the scenes at Mystic Aquarium shows African penguins getting acupuncture treatments.
According to a statement sent to 22News, acupuncture is used to help the penguins with medical issues including spinal conditions. In addition to providing treatment for certain health conditions, acupuncture therapy is an opportunity for penguin trainers to build trust between them and the penguins. During the sessions, trainers have the penguins sit calmly while the needles are put in place by veterinarians specially trained in acupuncture.
The sessions can last for upwards of 20 minutes. To reward the penguins for sitting still during the session, the trainers preen them (gently scratching the back of the penguin’s head) as seen in the video.