GALVESTON ISLAND, Texas, Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Moody Gardens is celebrating the birthday of Wagner, the oldest Chinstrap Penguin in North America. Wagner turned 32 today which is cause for celebration not only because she has been identified as the oldest penguin in North America, but because the typical lifespan of a Chinstrap Penguin is in the mid-twenties.
"We attribute Wagner's longevity to the excellent care that she and all the animals receive here at Moody Gardens," said Diane Olsen, Assistant Curator as she referenced the high standard of animal care established by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums accreditation. "She has almost certainly lived longer than Chinstraps in the wild. Moody Gardens staff, like all AZA zoos and aquariums, takes pride in the dedication we have to all the animals in our care."
Wagner's special day was recognized with a celebratory meal of krill and fish. She is an independent and active bird and spent a lot of time swimming in the chilly waters of her exhibit on this special day as she often does. She is one of 15 Chinstrap Penguins that inhabit the South Atlantic Exhibit in the Aquarium Pyramid along with Gentoo, King, Macaroni and Rockhopper Penguins. Chinstrap Penguins are named for the thin line of black feathers that runs beneath their chin that resembles a helmet. This penguin species is native to cold regions such as the Antarctic. Their densely packed feathers create a waterproof coat along with a thick layer of blubber enable them to swim in their native freezing waters.
Wagner was brought to Moody Gardens in 2003 as part of a breeding-loan program with Sea World San Diego. The purpose of the program is to promote breeding in order to diversify the penguin collections at this and other AZA accredited institutions. As one of the largest aquariums in the Southwest, the Aquarium Pyramid opened in June 1999 and has been very successful in breeding and caring for penguins in captivity.
For more information call 800-582-4673 or visit www.moodygardens.org.
Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit, educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.
SOURCE Moody Gardens