Toto, a little blue penguin, has reached the age of 25 and is believed to be the oldest blue 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 moved to the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, several years ago 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,” says Penguin keeper, Dianne Lim.
Having lived four times the average life span of a blue penguin, Toto’s eyesight is not poper, she seems to be a bit forgetful and is sometimes found in odd places around the enclosure, but Toto can pack away the fish quickly when she is hungry and still swims; always with her signature dance at the end, that is longer than all the other penguins.
“Her boyfriend Danny is her big love and he is 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,” says Lim.
Toto was born on December 6, 1990 and was moved south to Christchurch in 2007.
The little blue penguins are the smallest penguins in the world, a sub-Antarctic species living mainly around the lower southern regions of New Zealand, weighing between one and two kg. The average life span of these penguins in the wild is 6.5 years.