Penguin tragedy as malaria outbreak kills 70% of UK zoo’s Humboldts – ‘still ongoing'

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Of the 69 birds at Dudley Zoo in the West Midlands, staff report that around 50 have been killed by the disease. Staff have been left devastated by the deaths.

Derek Grove, zoo director, said: “We are all heartbroken with the huge loss in Penguin Bay.

“It’s been an especially distressing time for our bird team who have devoted years to their care.”

A spokesperson for the zoo told the PA news agency that the situation was “still ongoing” on Saturday morning.

At that point, nearly three-quarters of the colony had passed away.

The zoo staff, along with veterinary experts, are battling to stem the tide of the outbreak.

They have not yet been successful.

Penguins are particularly vulnerable to avian malaria, which cannot jump from animals to infect humans.

It is transmitted through bites of infected mosquitos.

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Humboldt penguins are native to South America, found on the coastline along parts reached by the Humboldt current.

They’re named after the German scientist, Alexander Von Humboldt, who travelled around the region in the eighteenth century.



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