Featured Image Credit: Shedd Aquarium
By Sarah Sharkey
It is a month of birthdays at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Four Rockhopper penguins turned 30! This makes them the longest living penguins in Shedd’s history.
Drake, Magdalena, Pebbles, and Wellington join the ranks of some of the oldest penguins in human care. The aquarium has several other penguins in their late 20s, which is already considered extremely old for a penguin. The average lifespan of a Rockhopper penguin in the wild is only 10-15 years. In captivity that average lifespan is bumped up to 20-25. Reaching age 30 is an accomplishment by any standard.
A party was thrown in celebration of their birthdays and this important milestone. There were plenty of frozen treats and festive decorations. The reasons behind their old age include regular veterinary care, no predators, and plentiful food.
All of these penguins thoroughly enjoyed their party, and so did the zoo staff! The prepared treated included various frozen fish and enrichment, not necessarily what we would want to eat, however, if you are a penguin that is like eating your favorite cake.
Hopefully, there will be many more years to celebrate with these penguins as improved knowledge of care continues to expand the life of these beloved animals.
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