Friday, March 21, 2014

Penguin 'Mike' dies at The Deep in Hull

By Hull Daily Mail  |  Posted: March 20, 2014
Penguins at The Deep in Hull. Mike, one of the recently-arrived birds has died. He is believed to have had kidney and liver problems

FURTHER tests will be carried out to determine exactly why a penguin died at The Deep just two weeks after being unveiled to the public. The five gentoos have proved a huge success since arriving in February. The new penguin attraction opened to the public on March 3 and pulled in thousands of extra visitors. The bird, called Mike, is believed to have had kidney and liver problems.
He was one of five penguins, alongside Don, Leo, Rafa and Fiona, who made the journey from Moody Gardens zoo in Texas. Preliminary tests have not shown up any disease likely to threaten the other penguins, but the aquarium’s vet will need to carry out a full post mortem to determine exactly how Mike died.

A spokesman for The Deep said: “We are very sad to report the death of one of our penguins. “Our procedure for all deaths of this nature is to send the bird to have a full post-mortem examination. “The initial results indicate that he had a kidney and liver problem. As of this time, we don’t know how long the bird might have had this problem. Further tests are ongoing.”

The penguin was in the last few days of his quarantine period and had been in his new display area since February 19. The other penguins have been inspected by a vet and are all healthy.
Mike was known by staff as one of the lively members of the group.

The spokesman said: “We are all really sad about losing Mike, particularly as he had settled in so well into his new home. He was both playful and active. “The other penguins have been inspected by our vet as a precaution and they all appear to be healthy.”

The birds helped the aquarium attract almost 11,000 visitors in its first week of opening. After a long and arduous journey from Texas, the five gentoos had settled into their new £650,000 home. It is based on an old South Georgian whaling station called Grytviken and was designed and mainly built in-house.

Moody Gardens staff in Texas have expressed their sadness at the news. A spokesman said: “Our staff are very sad to hear about the death of the penguin. “Our biologists who work with the animals are very passionate about the care of animals. They understand how the staff at The Deep feel as they share in this unfortunate loss.”

Five more gentoos are set to arrive at The Deep from Moody Gardens later in the year. It is unclear whether the penguin’s death will affect those plans and any decision will only be made when the exact cause of death has been determined.


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