World’s Oldest African Penguin Turns 43

Jan 31, 2023

The world’s oldest African penguin is one year older! Help us wish ET, one of our female African penguins, a very happy birthday. She turned 43 years old on January 28.

According to our best available data, ET is the oldest currently living African penguin in the world and the oldest African penguin to have ever lived.

In the wild, their average lifespan is around 15-20 years, but they can live much longer in zoological parks.

ET arrived at the MRZ in 1995, and she has been an integral member of our penguin colony since. Penguins are monogamous and will mate for life. She has outlived two of her mates at the MRZ, and her current mate is Einstein. ET and Einstein have their own private space so she can spend her senior years without any penguin drama.

ET is in good health considering her age. Like most elderly penguins, she has arthritis for which she receives medication. She also has impaired vision, but her quality of life is strong. She eats well and still loves to swim. ET is a favorite of our staff and guests, and she receives lots of love and care.

Happy 43rd Birthday, ET! We love you!