World’s oldest Humboldt penguin dies just weeks before turning 33

HullLive reported Rosie died peacefully in her sleep on Friday, March 10. Rosie was originally taken to Bridlington from Birdworld in Surrey, along with her partner, Dion, in 1990.

Over the years, Dion and Rosie had several chicks and, along with fellow penguins Pingu and Penny, ensured the penguins became one of the zoo’s most popular features and key to the zoo’s breeding programme.

Humboldt penguins are classed as vulnerable to extinction in the wild because of climate change and overfishing.

The life expectancy of Humboldt penguins is normally around 15-20 years, making Rosie’s feat all the more impressive.

Head zookeeper, John Pickering, who collected Rosie, said: “We are all devastated by the loss of Rosie. I myself have been with her since she was four months old and we have spent 32 years of our lives together in one way or another, through all of life’s trials and tribulations.”

Mr Pickering added: “The rest of the team have always had a very special place in their hearts for Rosie too, as do many of the other staff and visitors who have always enjoyed watching Rosie at feeding time and often asking how she is doing.

“It has been an absolute joy for all of us on the team to look after her over so many years, and to see how she herself has looked after her chicks. It is such a big loss for the zoo and she is going to be greatly missed by all.”

Rosie’s fame wasn’t confined to Yorkshire, in recent years her longevity had meant she had grabbed the attention of international news outlets.

On her 30th birthday in 2020, she was featured on CBS News and ABC News in the United States, as well as Good Morning America.

Alongside the United States, Rosie is featured on social media in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand.

Rosie’s offspring can still be seen at Bridlington zoo which intends to hold a special tribute. 

The public has been invited to share their memories and photos of Rosie online using the hashtag #RememberingRosie.

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