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The Aquarium on Animal Planet exclusive: Charlie the penguin hates eye exams!

Charlie would rather be hanging out with Lizzie than enduring another eye exam! Pic credit: Animal Planet
Charlie would rather be hanging out with Lizzie than enduring another eye exam! Pic credit: Animal Planet

Animal Planet’s The Aquarium tonight features a penguin named Charlie who undergoes a medical procedure. And just like humans, he hates seeing the doctor or having things put in his eyes! Even eye drops.

The series features behind the scenes footage and stories from the aquatic life and aquarists at the Georgia Aquarium every Sunday night.

Tonight we meet Charlie and Lizzie, a pair of 32-year-old African penguins, a couple for over 25 years! Charlie sadly has had some cataract issues and had to endure a bit of surgery.

Dr. Sarah Miller, the veterinary resident who is taking care of Charlie, explains what the penguin went through in our exclusive clip posted below.

Walking to the penguin enclosure where her patient awaits, she says: “I am heading over to take a look at Charlie and see how his eyes are doing.”

In the opening of the clip, we see Charlie with his mate Lizzie.

Dr. Miller says: “Today we had taken Charlie to get cataract surgery and when we started the anesthesia… he went a little too deep. So we were looking to manage him medically or with eye drops and then oral medication — the ophthalmologist recommended a type of eye drop which is an extreme lubricant.”

But the news is conditional as she cautions he is not out of the woods yet. She says: “Charlie’s eyes may continue to worsen his vision, but this should make him more comfortable.”

It appears Charlie is doing pretty well as his mate Lizzie is on her enclosure on the “front porch” waiting on his return

Dr. Miller takes a quick look at Charlie’s eyes to how they are doing.

Charlie gets his new eye drops every single day as well as oral pain medications too. The medics make sure the little guy is comfortable.

About The Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium is a leader in aquatic conservation and has allowed Animal Planet’s global audiences unprecedented access to the aquatic animals and inner-workings of the Western Hemisphere’s largest aquarium.

The series tells the stories of the amazing animals who call the 10 million gallons of water at the Georgia Aquarium home.

In the premiere episode, a group of Georgia Aquarium staffers travels to Cape Town, South Africa to help rehabilitate African penguins and assist in the release of a group of penguins back into the wild.

Other animal stories this season include Pinkie, a geriatric Asian small-clawed otter, a curious rescued green sea turtle named Tank, and three Harbor seals — Rose, Floyd, and Cerberus, plus a mismatched duo, Toby, the harbor seal and Hunter, the rescued California sea lion.

People who wish to support their work should know that the Georgia Aquarium is a leading 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Atlanta, Ga. that is Humane Certified by American Humane and accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Tune in to see how Charlie and Lizzie fare and if Charlie’s eye issues are resolved:

The Aquarium airs Sunday, June 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Animal Planet.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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