Mrs Wolowitz is dead: Edinburgh Zoo’s oldest penguin, a famed tourist attraction, killed in fox attack

The Northern Rockhopper — a species native to the Atlantic Ocean and southern Indian Ocean — survived twice as long as a normal penguin.

Mrs Wolowitz is dead: Edinburgh Zoo’s oldest penguin, a famed tourist attraction, killed in fox attack
Mrs Wolowitz was named after a character from the hugely popular TV series The Big Bang Theory. (Pixabay)

The oldest penguin at Scotland’s Edinburgh Zoo has died following a fox assault, the zoo authorities announced in a statement.

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Hatched in 1987, Mrs Wolowitz was a well-liked tourist attraction. The Northern Rockhopper — a species native to the Atlantic Ocean and southern Indian Ocean — survived twice as long as a normal penguin. She was one of several Northern Rockhopper penguins at the zoo. Her only child, Mr Green, was born in 1991 when she was four years old. The zoo’s Penguin Rock is home to Europe’s largest outdoor penguin pool. It is also home to King and Gentoo penguins. The zoo’s penguin parade is also a popular attraction.

“Sadly, we lost her last night after a fox broke into our penguin enclosure. Thankfully, the rest of our colony are unharmed and are doing well,” Edinburgh Zoo tweeted.

“Her massive personality will be missed.”

Mrs Wolowitz was named after a character from the hugely popular TV series The Big Bang Theory.

Northern Rockhoppers normally live to be 15-20 years old in the wild. These penguins are among the smaller species and grow up to be 20 inches in height. Overfishing, changes in marine habitats, and climate change have rendered the species endangered.

Edinburgh Zoo Head of Living Collections Darren McGarry told BBC: “We were saddened to discover a fox had broken into our penguin enclosure through the night and attacked Mrs Wolowitz, our oldest penguin.”

“She was a big personality and a favourite among keepers and visitors, who will miss her. Thankfully, the rest of our colony were unharmed and are doing well.”

The zoo declared that it would consider what it needed to do to defend the animals in the enclosure from threats.

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“Our expert teams check the enclosures daily for signs of damage but there is always a risk that wild animals will break in. We will be looking at what we can do to reinforce the boundary,” Mr McGarry told BBC.

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