Submitted by Annabel Tautou on Tue, 02/26/2013
It was noticed by the curator of the zoo, Dr. Malu Celli, in January that the penguin showed signs of cough while she was walking. Cough is not found in birds usually, so the penguin underwent X-rays and her blood samples were taken.
It was, then, found that she suffered from a fungal infection called aspergillosis. Asa was treated by antibiotics and antifungals after the diagnosis. With medicines, she started to recover but her condition took a bad turn on Saturday as her health deteriorated.
Consequently, she died on Sunday, asserted Celli. She also said that fungus occurs in environment and penguin may have contracted it. "I am very confident that she received the best possible care from our keepers and our vets, and it was just a bird that couldn't fight it off", she added.
This is second case of penguin death in two months. Earlier in December, a penguin swallowed a foot long stick and died. Aspergillosis is caused by a fungus called Aspergillus, which is found on dead leaves, stored grain, compost piles and other decayed matter generally. It is characterized by cough, fever, wheezing, weight loss and other similar symptoms.