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Health & Science

Akron Zoo's 'Emma' the Humboldt Penguin Remembered

a photo of Emma the Humboldt penguin
Emmanuelle, better known as Emma, lived ten years longer than most penguins.

Humboldt penguins have a median life expectancy of 16.5 years. Emmanuelle, known as Emma, at the Akron Zoo lived to be 36. The Zoo had retired Emma in 2013. She was suffering from age-related problems. When she stopped responding to treatment last week, they humanely euthanized her.  

The Zoo says Emma was the oldest, zoo-born female Humboldt penguin in any facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. She hatched April 23, 1983 at the Milwaukee County Zoo and came to Akron in October 2004. 

The zoo credit's her longevity to "exceptional care" she received over the years. The Akron Zoo is part of the Humboldt Penguin Species Survival Plan and supports the Humboldt Penguin Conservation Program that's working to safeguard the animals from extinction in their native Peru and Chile.  

The Akron Zoo is currently home to 13 penguins.