Story By: Natasha Spasovska, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
The world’s oldest penguin named Grandma has been put to sleep after her health recently took a drastic down-turn.
Wuppertal Zoo in Germany bid farewell to their beloved resident Grandma, 46, on 11th November.
The Zoo shared a post on Facebook, mourning the loss of their oldest king penguin, where they explained Grandma had hardly been eating lately and lost a significant amount of weight.
She also had trouble moving around and was no longer interacting with other penguins in the zoo.
They said that Grandma’s condition had not improved despite veterinary treatments, which brought them to the difficult decision to put her to sleep.
Grandma lived a long active life in the zoo’s penguin enclosure, actively participating in social activities with her peers, despite having a deformed beak, movement impairment and increasing visual impairment.
She is even said to have found a new partner, who was brought to the zoo in 2018.
According to spokesmen from the Wuppertal Zoo, the elderly penguin’s exact age is unknown – in 1975 she was one of the first 12 king penguins to come to the zoo for the penguin plant built in 1971, at which point it was obvious from her beak colour that she was already at least one year old.
The egg from which Grandma hatched more than four and a half decades ago came from Antarctica and was hatched in South Africa, after which she arrived in Wuppertal, where she contributed to one of the largest and most successful royal penguin breeding groups in Europe, looking after three young penguins herself.
Wuppertal Zoo spokesperson Andreas Haeser-Kalthoff told Newsflash: “King penguins and Gentoo penguins are living together in one enclosure.
“In another enclosure, we also have African penguins (black-footed penguins).”
In nature, penguins tend to have a life expectancy of up to 20 years.