Britain's oldest penguin Rosie celebrates her 30th birthday

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Rosie…

Carla Challis

One of Britain’s oldest penguins, Rosie, is celebrating her milestone 30th birthday in style. Rosie the Humboldt has left staff at Sewerby Hall and Gardens in Bridlington, Yorkshire, in awe as she's far exceeded the life expectancy for Humboldt penguins by 10 years. Rosie, believed to be one of the oldest of her species in the UK, first came to the zoo in 1990, aged three. She's played a vital role in the zoo's vital breeding programme, and has hatched three chicks. She'll be celebrating her 30th birthday today, April 20, with staff marking the special occasion.

Rosie the penguin

Rosie the Humboldt penguin opening her birthday gift

Head zookeeper John Pickering said: "She's done remarkably well to get to 30, I’ve never known them to get to that age before. They normally get to about 24-25, we even had one last year that got to 26, but to get to 30, she’s doing extremely well." 

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WATCH: Rosie celebrating her birthday

Humboldt penguins live mainly in the north of Chile and Peru, and have a life expectancy in the wild of 15-20 years. They are classed as vulnerable to extinction, because of changes in climate and overfishing of many of their main prey items, such as the anchovy. They usually grow to be around 26-28 inches long, and weigh around 4kg. One adorable fact about Humboldt penguins is that they blush; they have patches of skin around their beak that allow them to cool down by blushing.


Rosie will be serenaded by staff at Sewerby Hall and Gardens for her special day

Sewerby Hall and Gardens recently welcomed a new Humboldt penguin, Sigsbee, who arrived a few weeks ago from Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire. The Humboldt penguins at the zoo are the stars of their Animal Encounters experience, allowing visitors to meet the colony of penguins, prepare their food and hand-feed them.

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