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Is Birdland Penguin the world's oldest?

Penguins at Birdland

A penguin at Birdland in Bourton-on-the-Water is laying claim to the title of the world’s oldest.
Back in May, Odense Zoo in Denmark announced one of their Gentoo penguins was the oldest living penguin in captivity at the grand age of 34.
However keepers at Birdland believe a king penguin, named Missy, could be even older.
Missy is the matriarch of England’s only colony of king penguins. She arrived as an adult at the Birdland park back in 1982.
Despite losing the sight in one eye, Missy is still very much a bird to be reckoned with and spends much of her time alongside Seth, her devoted penguin partner of 18 years.
Birdland’s Simon Blackwell said: “The Danish zoo recently announced they believed that a Gentoo penguin there was the world’s oldest living penguin having reached the age of 34 in May.
“Although we cannot categorically age Missy we do know she was an adult when she came to Birdland and king penguins take five years to become fully mature.
“Therefore she must be, at the very least, 36 years old and she could actually be significantly older.
“She has very much become one of the most loved birds here at the park and she’s definitely top of the pecking order among the penguins.
“The fact that she can only see out of one eye doesn’t appear to have slowed her down at all and she uses one of her wings as a guide against the side of her enclosure to help her navigate her way around.
“Her partner Seth is also no spring chicken. He arrived two years after Missy but must also be in his early thirties.
“They’re certainly the star couple as he had a leading role in the 1992 film Batman Returns playing an evil penguin alongside Danny DeVito,
” he added.
According to the Guinness World Records the oldest penguin ever in captivity was Rocky, a rockhopper penguin who was one of six who arrived at Bergen Aquarium, Norway in 1974 and lived there until his death in October 2003, aged 29 years, four months.
There are 17 species of penguin in the world and the king penguin is the second largest, weighing up to 18kg. The largest is the emperor penguin, which can weigh 45kg and the smallest is the appropriately-named little penguin
which weighs two kilogrammes.

Explore Gloucestershire
13 August 2013

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