Edinburgh Zoos oldest penguin dies in fox attack

- BBC News

Edinburgh Zoos oldest penguin dies in fox attack

Edinburgh Zoo has announced that its oldest penguin has died after being attacked by a fox.

The 35-year-old penguin, known as Mrs Wolowitz, was killed after the fox broke into her enclosure on Wednesday night.

The Northern Rockhopper, which was popular with visitors, hatched in 1987 and lived to double her life expectancy.

The zoo said no other penguins at the enclosure were harmed in the attack.

Darren McGarry, head of living collections at Edinburgh Zoo, said: "We were saddened to discover a fox had broken into our penguin enclosure through the night and attacked Mrs Wolowitz, our oldest penguin.

"She was a big personality and a favourite among keepers and visitors, who will miss her.

"Thankfully, the rest of our colony were unharmed and are doing well."

Mrs Wolowitz produced her only offspring, Mr Green, in 1991 when she was four years old.

She was one of several Northern Rockhopper penguins at the zoo.

They are an endangered species, threatened due to climate change, changes in marine ecosystems and overfishing.

Edinburgh Zoos Penguin Rock is Europes largest outdoor penguin pool. The zoo also has King and Gentoo penguins.

The penguin parade is a popular visitor attraction.

The zoo said it would look at what more it could do to protect the animals in the enclosure from future attacks.

"Our expert teams check the enclosures daily for signs of damage but there is always a risk that wild animals will break in," Mr McGarry said.

"We will be looking at what we can do to reinforce the boundary."

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