Fisher, a Magellanic penguin, died Wednesday at age 7. Photo by Robin Riggs, courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Fisher, a 7-year-old Magellanic penguin at the Aquarium of the Pacific, died Wednesday, according to officials.

Aquarium officials say Fisher showed symptoms of lethargy and decreased appetite over the last week and was under close watch and care by a veterinary and animal husbandry team. Though staff are waiting for additional findings in their necropsy exam, a spokesperson with the aquarium said testing indicated avian malaria as the most likely cause of Fisher’s illness.

Avian malaria is a serious disease in penguins that is not transmissible between birds and cannot be transferred to people, according to aquarium officials.

“All the penguins at the Aquarium, including Fisher, receive preventative malaria medicine year-round as a precaution,” the aquarium said in a statement. “Breakthrough cases are not common but can happen.”

Fisher hatched at the Aquarium of the Pacific in 2016, where, as part of the fourth generation of Aquarium-born penguins, staff watched him develop from a chick into a fully grown adult Magellanic penguin. His parents, Kate and Avery, were both rescue penguins from Brazil.

“As he grew up at the Aquarium, his personality formed. He was curious, easygoing with the other penguins, and just had a sweet and gentle nature about him,” said Brett Long, senior director of mammals and birds, Aquarium of the Pacific.

Magellanic penguins are a temperate species native to the coasts of Argentina and Chile in South America. In the wild, a Magellanic penguin can live to be up 10 to 20 years old.

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