Oldest African penguin in captivity dies at Pueblo Zoo

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PUEBLO, Colo. — Colorado zookeepers have announced the death of Mongo, a penguin believed to be the oldest African penguin in captivity in North America.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported Thursday that 38-year-old Mongo died overnight Wednesday while in captivity at the Pueblo Zoo.

Scientists say the endangered African penguin lives an average of 20 years.

Zoo staff say Mongo faced various health challenges including hormone issues.

Zookeepers say Mongo lived at the city’s zoo since it opened its penguin exhibit in 1992.

He was transferred from the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore where he fathered nine chicks.

Staff say Mongo is survived by more than 100 descendants worldwide.

Tess the penguin is reunited with her flock at the Pueblo Zoo, December 9, 2014.
Mongo’s late partner, Tess, at the Pueblo Zoo, December 9, 2014. (Photo: William Cotton, Colorado State University)

Zookeepers say his first partner Tess was the oldest African penguin in captivity in North America before her death in 2015. She was 40 years old.

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