Source: AP Photo/Nick Perry

Blindy the Penguin lives in New Zealand’s Flea Bay with over 2,500 other penguin pals. At just 12 weeks old, Blindy has a story that stands out from the rest. Blindy was born without functioning eyes and has a malformed head and beak, which makes the penguin difficult to be gendered.

Shireen Helps, owner of the local penguin sanctuary Pohatu Penguins, has taken Blindy in since the penguin was separated from the colony. Helps explained how at first Blindy would swim in circles, but with some assistance from Helps, now swims with confidence.

“It’s really learning very well,” Helps said.Blindy2

Aside from being a temporary penguin parent, Helps and her husband also trap feral cats, ferrets and stoats and build wood huts for penguins in order to manage nesting site fights. Since the Helps have been watching the local seabirds for years, they have some humorous insights.

“A common thought is that penguins mate for life. Well, some of our monitoring notes make interesting reading if you’re into soap operas,” Helps said. “So yeah, they can fool around.”

As for Blindy, Helps continues to teach the cutie how to swim. Although Blindy is too disabled to return to the wild, Helps hopes a zoo will welcome the penguin in soon.

Keep on swimming, Blindy!