World's oldest penguin turns 31 at East Yorkshire Zoo

  • John Pickering Head Zookeeper

Staff at an East Yorkshire zoo are celebrating the 31st birthday of Rosie, believed to be the oldest penguin in the world.

Rosie the Humboldt penguin arrived at Sewerby Hall and Gardens, near Bridlington, in 1990 and has surpassed the life expectancy for her species in the wild by around 10 years.

Head zookeeper, John Pickering, said he is "delighted" the zoo is open to the public for Rosie's birthday on April 20, unlike last year.

''We can't organise a big event but she will make sure she is well cared for on the day and the centra of attention. She is a grand old lady.''

Rosie arrived at the zoo in 1990. Credit: Sewerby Hall

Rosie was bred in captivity, along with companions Dion, Pingu and Penny.

The penguins have played a vital role in the zoo's breeding programme since 1990 and Rosie has hatched several chicks over the years.

Humboldt penguins are classed as vulnerable to extinction due to changes in climate and overfishing of their preferred prey species.

They live mainly in the north of Chile and their life expectancy in the wild is between 15 and 20 years.