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Zoo staff are mourning the loss of what was believed to be the world’s oldest Humboldt penguin after her death at 32.

Rosie had lived at Sewerby Hall in East Yorkshire since 1990, when she was brought from a bird park in Surrey.

Native to South America, Humboldts can live up to 20 years in the wild and are classed as “vulnerable to extinction”.

Staff at the Bridlington zoo said Rosie, who was just a few weeks short of her 33rd birthday, died in her sleep on Friday.

Head zookeeper John Pickering 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.”

Rosie also had “a very special place in their hearts” of the other staff and visitors to the zoo, he added.

Rosie pictured with staff at the zoo

Sewerby Hall zoo

In recent years, Rosie had become a star of media and social media across the world, with her 30th birthday celebrations being featured on news channels in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

Rosie, described by staff as “the grand old lady”, was also featured in Hello! magazine and on TV shows across the UK.

To honour Rosie’s memory, the team at the zoo will be holding a special tribute, and are inviting the public to share their memories and photos of Rosie on social media using the hashtag #RememberingRosie.

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Humboldt penguins

Rosie the penguin

Oli Constable/BBC

  • The scientific name for Humboldt penguins is Spheniscus humboldti
  • Humboldts are classed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature
  • Humboldt penguins are very social and live in large colonies
  • They can live up to 20 years in the wild
  • Humboldts can travel through water at speeds of up to 25mph

Source: IUCN/BBC

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Source: BBC

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