World’s oldest penguin dies: ‘Grandma’, 46, is put to sleep after entertaining visitors to German zoo since 1975
- Wuppertal Zoo bid farewell to king penguin Oma, or Grandma in English
- Oma lived a long and social active life in the zoo’s large penguin enclosure
- King penguins tend to have a life expectancy of up to 20 years in the wild
The world’s oldest penguin has been put to sleep after entertaining German zoo visitors since 1975.
Wuppertal Zoo in Germany bid farewell to 46-year-old king penguin Oma, or Grandma in English, on November 11.
The Zoo explained Oma had hardly been eating lately and lost a significant amount of weight in a post mourning her loss.
She also had trouble moving around and was no longer interacting with other penguins in the zoo.
The world’s oldest penguin 46-year-old Oma, or Grandma in English, has been put to sleep after entertaining Wuppertal Zoo visitors in Germany since 1975
They said that Oma’s condition had not improved despite veterinary treatments, which brought them to the difficult decision to put her to sleep.
Oma lived a long active life in the zoo’s penguin enclosure, participating in social activities with her peers before her recent deterioration, despite her deformed beak, movement impairment and increasing visual impairment.
She even found a new partner in recent years, who was brought to the zoo in 2018.
According to spokesmen from the Wuppertal Zoo, the elderly penguin’s exact age was unknown but their research determined she had been far and away the oldest king penguin living in a zoo anywhere in the world.
Now the oldest living penguin recognised by the Guiness Book of World Records is a 41-year-old female gentoo penguin named Olde in Denmark’s Odense Zoo.
Oma lived a long active life in the zoo’s penguin enclosure, actively participating in social activities with her peers before her recent deterioration in health
In 1975 Oma 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.
She was collected from Antarctica as an egg and was hatched in South Africa.
Oma arrived in Wuppertal around a year later, 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 said: ‘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.