He arrived at John Ball Zoo back in 2002 from SeaWorld San Diego. Herbie, the Magellanic penguin has died at the age of 37 years old.

I didn't realize that penguins lived that long. According to the Penguins World website, the average life expectancy for a penguin is 6 to 27 years, but it depends on the species. A Magellanic penguin has a life expectancy of 25-30 years. Herbie had just celebrated his 37th birthday a few weeks ago.

During his time at John Ball Zoo, Herbie father four chicks and even became a grandfather. One of his sons, a penguin named Friend, is currently in a breeding flock at another institution.

Herbie The Penguin
Photo: Facebook/John Ball Zoo

You may remember seeing Herbie. He was known at John Ball Zoo, the SSP (Species Survival Plan), and many other visitors for his unusual white coloring. Typically Magellanic penguins have black on their backs and white on their bellies. Herbie's coloring was quite unique with his feathers being mostly white with a few black spots and some accents on his wings, around his belly, and on his head.

Herbie's health went into a quick decline recently. A decision was made by zoo officials on Sunday to move forward with humane euthanasia. News of Herbie's death was posted on the John Ball Zoo Facebook page.

Megallanic penguins are native to South America. They are named after Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who, along with and his crew, spotted the penguins in 1520.

John Ball Zoo is currently closed for the winter months. As of yet, a spring opening date has not yet been announced.

Rest In Peace Herbie.


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