One of Britain’s oldest penguins will be serenaded with a ‘special birthday celebration’ from the confines of her zoo in honour of reaching the milestone age of 30.
Rosie the Humboldt Penguin, who arrived to Sewerby Hall and Gardens, near the seaside town of Bridlington in the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1990, has left staff at the zoo in awe after exceeding the life expectancy for her species by more than ten years.
Despite being closed to the public due to the coronavirus outbreak, the penguin, who was bred in captivity, will now be lavished with a private celebration by zookeepers to mark her big day on April 20.
Head zoo keeper John Pickering said: ‘We are genuinely excited that Rosie is about to reach her 30th birthday, and we will definitely be marking the occasion!
Rosie the Humboldt Penguin, who arrived to Sewerby Hall and Gardens, near Bridlington in the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1990, will be lavished with a ‘special birthday celebration’ in honour of reaching 30
The penguin, who is believed to be Britain’s oldest penguins, will be serenaded with a celebration from the confines of her zoo amid the coronavirus pandemic
Rosie (pictured with head zoo keeper John Pickering), has exceeded the life expectancy for her species by more than ten years
‘It’s obviously a real shame that we can’t share it with the public in the normal way, but we look forward to welcoming visitors back to the zoo, and to the daily penguin feeding times, as soon as we are able.
‘I am particularly pleased that we are able to do our bit to preserve this amazing species, and we will most definitely continue to do so.’
Rosie, who is believed to be one of the oldest of her species in the UK, is among the four penguins in the zoo who have played an important role in the centre’s breeding programme, which first began in 1990, and has herself hatched several chicks.
While Humboldt penguins, which are classed as a vulnerable species, typically live until 15-20, her incredible milestone marks a poignant moment in the zoo’s history.
Mr Pickering added: ‘To get to 30 she has done remarkably well.
‘I’ve never known them to get to that age before. They can get to about 24-25. We even had one last year that got to 26 but to get to 30 she’s doing extremely well.’
The celebration comes just weeks after the Yorkshire zoo welcomed another a Humboldt penguin named Sigsbee into its fold.
The Humboldt Penguin will be greeted with a celebration on April 20 to mark her milestone age
Head zoo keeper John Pickering (left with Rosie) said the zoo was ‘genuinely excited’ about Rosie (right) reaching 30
Rosie, who was bred in captivity, arrived to Sewerby Hall and Gardens in 1990 and has since hatched several chicks
An East Riding of Yorkshire Council spokesman said: ‘Reaching the great age of 30 is a real achievement, both for Rosie and the zoo staff who look after her.
‘Life expectancy of Humboldt penguins in the wild is 15 to 20 years and Rosie is believed to be one of the oldest penguins in the UK.’
Despite once being a plentiful species, Humboldt penguin’s are now an endangered creature due to the threat of fishing and climate change.
The animals, which typically nest on islands and rocky coasts along Chile and Peru in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, usually have a black breast band, head and bill and white circles around their eyes.
Humboldt penguins typically live between the ages of 15-20 and typically nest on islands and rocky coasts along Chile and Peru in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. Pictured: Rosie prepares to celebrate her 30th birthday at Sewerby Hall
Usually growing to about 26 to 28 inches long and weighing between 4-5kg, the creatures feed primarily on fish, especially anchovies, herring and smelt.
As the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus crisis, which has now claimed the lives of 16,060 in the UK, dedicated staff at the zoo have tried to ensure its animals are being cared.
Staff at the zoo have also been sharing daily videos and updates of its keepers hard at work with the animals on social media.