Stanley lived with Dottie full-time in the ICU, until she was ready to return home


That’s the power of love!

The National Aviary is celebrating a momentous occasion: after spending over 7 months in intensive care, Dottie the penguin has returned home — thanks in part to the love and support of her mate, a penguin named Stanley.

"Months ago Dottie developed a lung mass from pneumonia and she was in ICU. We gave her high-level, human-grade antibiotics and nebulizations to help her heal and the good news is, we’re thrilled to say that Dottie has made a full recovery," Dr. Pilar Fish says in a video documenting the endangered African penguin's miraculous recovery.

Although Dottie’s health slowly began to improve after her first treatments, there was something very important that was missing: Stanley — who’s named for the NHL’s top prize, the Stanley Cup, and is Dottie's devoted mate.

Dottie the Penguin Recovers from Lung Mass Thanks to Her Nurses and Dedicated Mate Stanley
Dottie and Stanley
| Credit: National Aviary/YouTube

Not wanting to keep the lovebirds apart any longer, the veterinary team brought Stanley to their ICU — and it made a big difference right away.

"Dottie and Stan are very close," Dr. Fish explains. "She was missing him while she was in the hospital. So we brought Stan to live full time in ICU with Dottie, and it immediately made her feel better.”

Although Dottie will continue to have to take medication and have regular check-ups, she’s now able to get back to living a normal life with Stanley and the rest of their colony.

"We are overjoyed today because the national aviary’s staff spent the last 7 months taking care of Dottie and nursing her back to health,"  says Dr. Fish. "And today is such a special day because we were able to see Dottie, with Stan by her side, back in Penguin Point."

"It made me tear up with happiness to see after all Dottie has been through, that she is feeling great and she’s back to her normal life," Dr. Fish added.