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Edinburgh Zoo's oldest penguin has been killed by a fox

Edinburgh Zoo's oldest penguin has been killed by a fox

Mrs Wolowitz was killed after the fox broke into her enclosure

Edinburgh Zoo has paid tribute to its oldest penguin after she was killed by a fox which managed to break into the enclosure.

Mrs Wolowitz was born in 1987 and was one of a number of northern rockhopper penguins living at Edinburgh Zoo, which is also home to gentoo and king penguins.

At the age of 35, she lived double her life expectancy which is on average between 15 and 20 years for penguins. Unfortunately, however, her life was cut short when a fox broke into the penguin enclosure on Wednesday (10 August).

The zoo announced the sad news in a post on Twitter, writing: "We know so many of you loved Mrs Wolowitz, our oldest penguin. Sadly, we lost her last night after a fox broke into our penguin enclosure... Her massive personality will be missed."

Edinburgh Zoo assured none of the other penguins in the enclosure had been harmed in the attack, and responded to commenters to explain that its charity's dedicated teams 'check enclosures daily' and had found no signs of damage.

Staff pointed out there is 'always a risk that wild animals will break in', adding: "We are looking at what we can do to reinforce the boundary."

The post prompted many Twitter users to express their sorrow over the loss of the penguin, with staff confirming she will 'definitely be missed' by both employees and customers of the zoo.

One visitor suggested Edinburgh Zoo could establish a memorial plaque for the penguin, to which the zoo responded: "A memorial plaque is a lovely idea and we'll be sure to pass it along to the relevant teams."

The post did receive some criticism from some members of the public who argued the penguin should not have been 'locked up' in the first place, but the zoo explained Mrs Wolowitz has been with them since birth, adding: "Our conservation charity works to protect Northern rockhoppers in the wild and is part of the breeding programme for the endangered species."

Mrs Wolowitz has been described by zoo keepers as not only the oldest penguin in the colony, but also the 'sassiest'. She would apparently give zookeepers a 'honk' when they came to visit her each morning, and she was known for regularly telling off the younger penguins who were up to no good.

Between the three species of penguin housed at Edinburgh Zoo, the facility has more than 100 of the birds.

Featured Image Credit: PA/itsajoop/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Animals, UK News, Twitter