veterinarian examined an endangered African blackfooted penguin chick
at the Monterey Bay Aquarium shortly after its hatching in August 2013.
(Contributed -- Monterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder)
MONTEREY - Over the weekend, three endangered African blackfooted penguins died at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Zuri and Betty, both female penguins, died on Friday unexpectedly,
with post-mortem evaluations showing signs of dehydration. Tranya, a
male penguin, died Saturday evening after being treated with fluids for
dehydration and lack of eating, Dr. Mike Murray, the aquarium's director
of veterinary services, said.
After the female penguins died Friday, aquarium aviculturists
conducted behavioral evaluations on all 17 birds left in the aquarium's
penguin exhibit, including Tranya, looking for any abnormalities. Tranya
and three other birds were removed from the exhibit and monitored.
African blackfooted penguin, similar to those that died over the
weekend at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The exhibit was briefly closed
while aquarium officials placed the surviving birds under observation.
The cause of death is still under investigation. (Courtesy photo -
Monterey Bay Aquarium)
The other three were returned to the exhibit Sunday morning. Tranya died Sunday just after 8 p.m.
Preliminary exams did not show an obvious cause of death, only
suggestions of dehydration. Officials are waiting for lab results, which
could take a few weeks, to pinpoint what went wrong.
Following the deaths, there are 16 African blackfooted penguins
left in the aquarium's exhibit, aquarium spokeswoman Angela Hains said.
All bird continue to be monitored.
Zuri, had just turned 12 last week, is survived by Pringle, her mate, and her 3-year-old chick, Tola.
Betty, 6, passed away leaving her partner, Seekoei, and her
sibling, Sabie, behind. Tranya was a 16-year-old penguin who came from
New Orleans and is survived by his partner, Molopo."One might say
penguins and drama go together. I suspect there will be a bit of a
kerfuffle as birds look to readjust mates and nest sites," Dr. Murray
The exhibit was briefly closed on Friday and was reopened Sunday morning, Hains said.
The Penguin Camera is located on Torgersen Island (64°46’S, 64°04’W), off the coast of Anvers Island and less than a mile from Palmer Station. Torgersen Island is home to a colony of Adélie penguins numbering approximately 2,500. This camera is seasonal and operates primarily from October to February, the Adélie breeding season. The camera is solar-powered and may sometimes experience brief outages due to inclement weather. School classrooms and other educational demonstrations will often take control of the camera, moving it to gain better views of the colony.