One of 8 humboldt penguins brought to Byculla zoo dies, was not even on public display yet

One of 8 humboldt penguins brought to Byculla zoo dies, was not even on public display yet
The 8 humboldt penguins at Byculla zoo

Before the penguins were even put on public display, a female humboldt penguin died at the city zoo on Sunday. The penguin was procured along with seven others from an aquarium in South Korea in July this year.

The penguin, nicknamed ‘Dory’ and weighing around 3 kg, showed symptoms of dullness, inappetance, greenish stools and laboured breathing on October 18. The bird was subjected to various medical tests and attended by a veterinary doctor, but could not survive, the zoo officials said.

Eight penguins, including five females, were procured from Coex Aquarium in Seoul on July 26 and brought to Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan. The flightless birds were to be made available for public viewing from mid-November at the municipal corporation-run zoo at Byculla.

These birds have been kept in a quarantine facility at the zoo under 16 to 18 degrees Celsius temperature as per international standards, the officials said in a release.

“The (ill) bird was immediately attended by a veterinary doctor and its stools were examined. A culture sensitivity test was also conducted which found the presence of gram-negative bacteria. Accordingly, appropriate treatment was started in consultation with an exotic birds specialist,” the statement stated.

“The bird, however, did not respond to the treatment and on October 19, a blood test was conducted which showed elevated liver values,” it added.

The zoo authorities said X-ray and ultrasonography tests were also conducted in which no specific observations were noticed in the penguin.

“The bird did not respond to treatment and died today at 8.17 am. A post-mortem was conducted by Mumbai Veterinary College in Parel,” it stated.

The exact cause of death will be known after the post- mortem report comes in. Meanwhile, the seven other Humboldt penguins are healthy and under observation, the officials said.

Following the death of the penguin, many animal activists took to social media to went their ire against zoo authorities and Shiv Sena-led BMC, who had decided to bring the bird to the city despite protests by activists.

“We must press for the closure of the zoo, which was recently sent a notice by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) of India. If a penguin died under such watchful eyes, one can imagine the condition of other animals,” said animal activist Anand Shiva.

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