A penguin named Alder (“great grandmother” in Danish) is over 41 years old. Became the world’s longest-lived captive penguin.
At Odense Zoo in Denmark, Alder lived with Gentoo penguins (her own species), rock jumping penguins, and emperor penguins.
This long-lived Gentoo penguin lives in Odense Zoo, Denmark. As of October 4, 2020, its life span has reached 41 years and 141 days.
In the wild, Gentoo penguins native to the Antarctic Peninsula and sub-Antarctic islands usually only live for 15-20 years, but under captive breeding conditions, they can live up to 30 years.
In either case, Alder has broken through people’s expectations of it. Although it is not unheard of that penguins can occasionally live to around 35 years old, the chance of this aquatic bird reaching 40 years old is extremely rare.
The zookeeper showed Alder her official Guinness World Record certificate-
One of the most recent examples of longevity is a female African penguin (black-footed penguin) named Tess from the Pueblo Zoo in Colorado, USA, who died in 2015 at the age of 40. Throughout history, another male African penguin is said to have lived to 42 years old.
“This is great! Although our zookeepers are professionals, they don’t have a favorite animal — but I can say with certainty that Alder holds a special place in their hearts.” Odense Zoo Danny Larson, head of media and social media, said excitedly.
Obviously, Alder is not a character suitable for the spotlight. Odense penguin breeders Sandy Munch and Met Haeckel told us: “She is very quiet and calm. Whether it is to other penguins or zookeepers, she has never been the kind of penguin who loses her temper. It has never been.”
Alder hatched at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland, England in 1979, and was transferred to Odense Zoo in 2003.
Throughout her life, Alder has been a prolific contributor to Gentoo penguin genetic breeding programs. In 2020, she has become a great-great-great-grandmother. Alder’s lineage has now spread to zoos around the world, including Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands and the United States. Considering her genes for longevity, maybe one of her descendants will become a contender for this world record!
Zookeeper Sandy said that the elderly Alder is still in good health. “She looks a little tired, her feathers are not as beautiful (when she was young) because she doesn’t have the energy to comb like other people. However, she walks around and eats well, so in general she is fine. Because her feathers are not well maintained, they are no longer waterproof, so she can’t enter the water. So we will bathe her regularly.”
The editor-in-chief of the “Guinness World Records” Adam Millward (Adam Millward) specializes in natural world records. When he heard of Alder, he went directly to the Odense Zoo in Denmark.
“In the Guinness Book of World Records, I was fortunate to know the oldest sloth, the oldest red panda, the oldest tapir, and even the oldest giant tortoise — but this was the first oldest one I encountered Birds. It’s a great honor for her to be the center of public attention.”