She is thought to be the oldest Humboldt penguin in the world
Staff at the zoo at Sewerby Hall and Gardens will be celebrating a very special birthday on Tuesday (20 April).
Rosie the Humboldt penguin will reach her 31stbirthday on that date, and the zoo staff believe that she is the oldest Humboldt penguin in the world.
Head zookeeper John Pickering said : “I am delighted that we can have visitors in the zoo this year to see Rosie on her big day, unlike on her 30th birthday last year! We can’t organise a big event for her under the current circumstances, but we will make sure that she is well cared for on the day and the centre of attention!
“She is a grand old lady – the life expectancy of Humboldt penguins in the wild is 15-20. Rosie has been with us since 1990, and has successfully hatched chicks over the years.”
Rosie, along with her companions Dion, Pingu and Penny, have ensured the lasting popularity of the penguins at the zoo. All were bred in captivity, and have played a vital role in the zoo’s breeding programme since 1990 – Humboldt penguins are classed as vulnerable to extinction in the wild, because of changes in climate and overfishing of their preferred prey species.
They are South American penguins and live mainly in the north of Chile. They nest on islands and rocky coasts, burrowing holes in guano and sometimes using scrapes or caves. In South America the Humboldt penguin is found only along the Pacific coast.
Last year, media and social media coverage of Rosie’s 30th birthday led to Rosie being featured on CBS News and ABC News in the USA, as well as Good Morning America, with a potential audience of ten million viewers!
Rosie has also featured on media and social media in Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, and John Pickering was interviewed on Newstalk Radio across Ireland. In addition, Rosie was wished a happy birthday by Lorraine Kelly on Good Morning Britain on ITV, was featured in Hello! magazine, and enjoyed coverage in a swathe of publications in all four home nations, as well as more local coverage.
The zoo is open daily from 10am – 4.30pm. Day passes for the gardens and zoo cost £5 for adults, and £3.50 for children aged 3-15. A family day pass (two adults and two children) costs £15.
Full details of all opening times, prices, annual passes, the Clock Tower Café, and all facilities are available at www.sewerbyhall.co.uk
Visitors are encouraged to book online in advance.