The Sedgwick County Zoo is mourning the loss of one of its newest residents. The zoo announced today, a Humboldt Penguin died last Saturday. According to Zoo Spokeswoman Christan Baumer, the penguin was showing signs of illness last Thursday and was kept off exhibit so zoo handlers could treat it, but the penguin passed away early Saturday. Preliminary reports suggest the bird had severe lung congestion. The zoo is awaiting lab results to confirm the cause of death.“Animals are good at hiding illness,” said Baumer. A second bird showed signs of illness and is currently off exhibit with a companion bird. “Our keepers monitor our animals’ health daily and noticed the birds were not acting normal. Unfortunately even with supportive care we were unable to save one bird.” The zoo says keepers, curators and veterinarians continue to monitor the health and well being of the colony.
The bird was part of a newly formed colony of Humboldt penguins, which is made up of penguins from eight different Zoos & Aquariums across the country. The Humboldt penguin colony made its debut to Zoo visitors on Friday, May 25. The zoo says, nearly 19,000 people visited the Cessna Penguin Cove over Memorial weekend.