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Mochica The Penguin Dies

Care staff celebrate with Humboldt penguin Mochica as he turns 30 years old. ©Oregon Zoo/ photo by Shervin Hess

PORTLAND, Ore. – Sad news out of the Oregon Zoo Tuesday.

Mochica the penguin has died. He was 31.

“Mochica was the oldest male of his species in any North American zoo or aquarium, maybe the whole world,” said Travis Koons, who oversees the zoo’s bird populations. “His remarkable longevity says a lot about both his zest for life and the quality of care he received over the years.”

Wild Humboldt penguins almost never live past 20.

“He had a mature cataract in one eye, old-age haze in the other, bilateral arthritis in his hips,” Koons said. “He was just a very old bird. It was hard for him to see, and at times difficult for him to walk.”

“It’s an incredibly sad day for his care team and for everyone who spent time with this amazing bird,” Koons said. “We’ve all had times in our lives where animals have left an indelible mark on our hearts. Mochica has done that for thousands of people. He inspired generations.”


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