Photo courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific by Robin Riggs.
The Aquarium of the Pacific’s oldest penguin, Henry, passed away on Tuesday due to complications with age, it was announced.
Henry, 24, had been showing signs of decline, including lethargy and loss of appetite. He was under close watch and care by the aquarium’s veterinary and animal husbandry teams.
“Henry was a very handsome and sweet-natured bird who was wise and loving,” said Aquarium of the Pacific penguin expert (aviculturist II) Sara Mandel. “He offered unconditional love and understanding to not only juvenile penguins, but also to everyone who was honored with the chance to meet him. Henry taught me patience, as I was able to watch his patience.”
Henry had been a resident of the June Keyes Penguin Habitat since 2012. Born in 1995, Henry was pretty mellow and also one of the largest penguins with the biggest beak of the 19 other members of the exhibit, according to the aquarium.
“Skipper and other juveniles would always try to claim Henry’s burrow,” Mandel continued. “While Henry would allow this for a while, at the end of the day King Henry would always reclaim his prime real estate.”
Mandel also commented that one of Henry’s favorite humans was Terri, a penguin volunteer, saying, “The bond they shared made it seem like they had been good friends for decades.”