The World’s Oldest African Penguin Has Died


Earlier this yr, I reported on the very particular birthday of a really particular fowl. ET, an African Penguin, was born on the twenty eighth of January, 1980, two years earlier than the premiere of her namesake movie. On June seventeenth, 2023, ET handed away. She was 43 years previous. That is no imply feat. ET not solely held the title of the oldest dwelling African Penguin up till her loss of life, she nonetheless stays the record-holder for the oldest African Penguin ever to dwell.

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ET was hatched on the Detroit Zoo, earlier than transferring to the Columbus Zoo the place she obtained her identify. She lived on the Columbus Zoo for a number of years earlier than transferring to the Metro Richmond Zoo in Moseley, Virginia, in 1995. She lived on the Metro Richmond Zoo for the rest of her life.

ET’s extraordinary lifespan can’t be overstated. Her passing represents the top of a record-smashing life. The typical African Penguin within the wild might be anticipated to dwell for 10 to fifteen years. In captivity, this life expectancy can prolong to over twenty years. An African Penguin dwelling to 43 is remarkable.

In the midst of ET’s lengthy life, she contributed fairly a bit to her species. African Penguins are endangered within the wild and zoo populations are sometimes used for breeding applications to assist and preserve a wholesome captive inhabitants. In the course of the course of ET’s time on the Metro Richmond Zoo, she had three mates. Penguins mate for all times, however she outlived two of her mates. With these mates, ET laid 45 eggs, producing extra offspring a powerful variety of wholesome offspring. In accordance with the Metro Richmond Zoo, ET’s unimaginable longevity might run within the household, as considered one of her daughters lived to 37.

Though saying goodbye is painful, all good issues should come to an finish. In ET’s case, that finish was peaceable and pure. Earlier this yr, zookeepers reported that, like most aged penguins, ET suffered from arthritis and imaginative and prescient points. Each of this stuff have been managed in order that her high quality of life remained intact. On the day of her loss of life, ET was her traditional self, a character that zookeepers described as “saucy.” Within the night, although, she didn’t come to her keeper when referred to as.

At the moment, ET was taken to the zoo’s veterinarian for commentary. She was decided to be dying of previous age. At 43 years previous, ET’s loss of life was anticipated, however that doesn’t make it simpler for her caretakers and followers. ET was a vivacious fowl who lived to be nearly triple the common age for wild birds of her species. Might all of us dwell such an extended and full life.

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