Devon Penguins Wiped Out by Avian Malaria

By Gary Cutlack on at

The entire population of penguins -- 10 penguins -- at Exmoor Zoo has been wiped out, after an outbreak of avian malaria struck the birds and took out the lot of them.

The penguins have been in the zoo since 1982, with some of the recently deceased being direct descendants of the first inhabitants of the now diseased enclosure. To make matters worse, the zoo committed the animal-keeping sin of naming its penguins, so it's farewell to Buster, Newquay, Ludo, Percy, Lemmy, Truddle, Owlie, Blossom, Friendly and Arthur.

Exmoor Zoo's collection manager Danny Reynolds said of the tragedy: "The problem for us was that our penguins were in summer moult, with skin exposed and typically do not feed well or regularly during this natural period of feather replacement which hid the symptoms." [Exmoor Zoo via PA]

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