AOP Penguin Fisher Passes

Aquarium of the Pacific staff are mourning the loss of Fisher the penguin, who passed away on Aug. 16. They had watched Fisher hatch at the aquarium in 2016 and grow and develop into an adult Magellanic penguin. “As he grew up at the aquarium, his personality formed. He was curious, easy going with the other penguins, and just had a sweet and gentle nature about him,” said Brett Long, senior director of mammals and birds, Aquarium of the Pacific.

In the last week, Fisher showed symptoms of lethargy and decreased appetite and was under close watch and care by the Aquarium’s veterinary and animal husbandry teams. Testing indicated an infection with avian malaria as the most likely cause of his illness, so he was receiving anti-malaria medication and supportive treatment in a behind-the-scenes care area. Avian malaria is a serious disease in penguins that is not transmissible between birds and cannot be transferred to people. All the penguins at the Aquarium, including Fisher, receive preventative malaria medicine year-round as a precaution. Breakthrough cases are not common but can happen. A necropsy exam was conducted, and we are awaiting any additional findings. Magellanic penguins are found in and around the coasts of South America, including Chile, Argentina, and Peru. In the wild their average lifespan is 10 years and up to 20 years.

Submitted by AOP

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