03 December 2015

Antarctic Centre celebrates world's oldest little blue penguin

Danny and Toto
NEW ZEALAND - A sweet natured little blue penguin called Toto, who likes to wiggle and dance on her feet, will reach the grand age of 25 this weekend. She is believed to be the oldest little penguin in the world.

Hatched in captivity at Napier’s Marineland, Toto and several other penguins that were deemed unable to survive in the wild were brought to the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch in 2007 when Marineland was closing down.

“Toto is still happy doing her own thing and we leave her to it most of the time – we just help her when she needs it,” said Penguin Keeper, Dianne Lim.

Having lived four times the average life span of little penguins, Toto’s eyesight is not as good as it used to be, she seems to be a bit forgetful and is sometimes found in odd places around the enclosure. But Toto can pack away the fish pretty quickly when she is hungry and still swims; always with her trademark dance at the end, that is longer than all the other penguins.

As for the secret to her longevity: “Her boyfriend Danny is her big love and he’s quite a few years younger than her. He had damaged flippers and is not so good in the water but he is a champion nest builder and Toto always has a nice warm bed to come home to! They are our longest lasting couple by far,” said Lim.

Toto was born on 6 December 1990. Find out more about her 25th birthday celebrations.

Antarctic Centre celebrates world's oldest blue penguin [press release], 2 December 2015, Christchurch International Antarctic Centre

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