Ralph the Penguin Needs a New Wetsuit (Video)

Ralph, a 13-year-old Humboldt penguin at Marwell Wildlife in the UK, is in need of a new wetsuit. As noted in the New York Daily News, Ralph has a “mysterious condition” that results in him shedding his feathers in the space of a few days, exposing his bare skin to the sun.

In contrast, penguins usually molt once a year and over a period of four to six weeks.

To keep him warm in the icy climate of his enclosure and to protect him from sunburn, zookeepers have given Ralph his own wetsuit. His first suit was made from the leg of a suit donated by a staff member.

Publicizing Ralph’s condition led to someone donating a custom-made wetsuit with velcro closures for Ralph in 2010. But as zookeeper Anna Ing says,

“Unfortunately Ralph’s wetsuit is fraying around the edges and coming apart at the seams.

“The wetsuit gets good use, Ralph is a bouncy character who is always out on the rocks exploring. He regularly grooms the wetsuit, just as he would with his feathers, and his partner, Coral the penguin, is often seen grooming it too!

Collection Manager David White has again sought to publicize Ralph’s condition, in the hope that he might be provided with a new suit. He notes that, aside from losing his feathers so quickly and all at once, Ralph is very healthy. Here’s Ralph, in his well-worn wetsuit:

Perhaps it’s too much to ask, but hopefully whoever might assist in providing Ralph with a new wetsuit might consider making him two so he’ll have a back-up?

Related Care2 Coverage

Coming Soon: A World without Penguins

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Escapee Penguin Back in Aquarium After 82 Days in Tokyo Bay


Image from a screenshot of a video uploaded by Marwell Wildlife via YouTube


Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra5 years ago

Thank you Kristina, for Sharing this!

John S.
Past Member 5 years ago

Maybe he has mutated and will be able to live in warmer climates?

ann paveletz
.5 years ago

Winter is coming Ralph needs a new coat.I am sure there is someone throwing out an old one that could be cut down for Ralph ann.

ann paveletz
.5 years ago

I am sure there is some good seamstress on this site that could make the little boy a new swim suit. Ann

Marianne C.
Marianne C5 years ago

Poor Ralph. He wouldn't survive in the wild.

L E E.
Lois E5 years ago

Poor little guy, He looks like he is freezing. See him shivering? I hope his next wet suit keeps him warmer. Blessings 2 all who help.

June Lacy
June Lacy5 years ago


Mandi Rose
Amanda A5 years ago

Aw thank you

Florence Eaise
Florence Eaise5 years ago

ive seen that lil guy in documentaries he's super cute

Lee Witton
5 years ago

I'm happy that the zoo is keeping Ralph protected and is soliciting a couple of new suits for Ralph. Ralph looks very dapper in his suit.