Aquarium of the Pacific mourns death of penguin chick – Press Telegram

A 2-month-old penguin chick, which had been in critical condition since hatching, died this week at the Aquarium of the Pacific, the iconic Long Beach institution announced.

“During the months the penguin chick was in intensive care, our team was there around the clock to care for her and formed a special bond with her,” said Rob Mortensen, assistant curator of birds and mammals. of the aquarium, on Friday September 1st. 2. “The chick’s condition had recently worsened despite all efforts. Our hearts are broken.

The female chick – which had not yet been named – was of the Magellan species, Mortensen said. This species is native to South America, specifically the coastal region of Patagonia, including Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands.

In the wild, healthy Magellanic penguins can live 15 to 25 years, Mortenson said. Under human care, they can survive up to 25 years of age.

The unnamed aquarium chick had begun to show signs of illness, including weight loss and lethargy, during its early stages of development. Further tests, according to a news release this week, revealed changes in blood chemistry that prompted veterinary and animal care staff to transport the chick to a specialist care area.

The chick’s condition worsened despite specialist treatment by Aquarium of the Pacific staff. It is not known what caused the chick’s illness.

“Unfortunately, the chick had several medical issues – some that we were able to treat and resolve – but some got worse despite treatment,” Mortensen said, noting that the disease appeared to have spread to the chick’s bones, including her legs. hips and spine. . “We are awaiting the results of the sample tests to see if they will reveal more.”

Aquarium veterinarians and animal care staff determined that euthanasia was the most humane choice for the baby penguin, after round-the-clock efforts to treat his ailments failed to bring the chick substantial relief. The penguin was euthanized on Tuesday August 30.

“It was a painful decision that was not taken lightly,” the press release read. “The penguin chick, who hatched at the end of May, is adored by the staff and will be greatly missed.”

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