Oldest Humboldt’s Penguin in the UK
We currently have a colony of twenty penguins of all ages here at the Paradise Park, many breeding and on nests at the moment and we are delighted to announce that Spneb will be celebrating her 35th birthday this Easter! Making her the oldest Humboldt’s penguin in the UK.
Keeper Georgia explains “Spneb’s name (a fun one to try and pronounce!) is a fusion of the two types of medication she was on during some intense treatment back in 2007 when she developed a fungal disease called Aspergillosis (her name consists of a drug ‘Sp’ and a nebuliser ‘neb’) . It took 4 months to treat, but apart from some minor scaring to her lungs she recovered well. She will turn a remarkable 35 on the 16th April and there is no doubt the oldest Humboldt’s penguin in the UK will get extra fuss from the Keepers which she loves. (it consisted of a drug (Sp) and a nebuliser (neb))
The records of all penguins in the UK are kept on a database. This helps to pair together unrelated birds and we can also see their ages.”
Below, the unusually named Spneb celebrating her 35th birthday on 16th April with a three-tier ice cake decorated with fish made by Keeper Archie. Photograph by Director Alison Hales.
Keeper Archie introduces Spneb the penguin.
BELOW: A very proud Keeper Archie brings out the three-tier birthday cake for Spneb.
The passing of penguin Millie who would have also been 35th this Easter
We had hoped that Spneb would be joined by penguin Millie to celebrate their birthdays together, but sadly Millie passed away last week just days before what would have been her 35th birthday on the 1st April. She was a favourite with the visitors and used to take part in close encounter sessions.
Below, Millie who passed away last week aged 34. Photo by Keeper Georgia
Millie will be greatly missed by penguin Rory her ‘toyboy’ boyfriend at a youthful 7 years old. But thankfully Rory does have another partner… who goes by the name of Houdini and is 27 years old. Visitors know Houdini well as she is rather unique and the only female who chooses to make a nest scrape outside rather than use one of the huts. She sits out there in sunshine and rain, though we do set up an umbrella for her when it’s hot. In the past the biggest risk to her eggs and young chicks were Herring Gulls but now the whole enclosure has netting which stops wild birds getting in, so she will be able to relax a lot more.
Rory with the late Millie in the background. Photo by Keeper Georgia
Below, Houdini. Photograph by Director Alison