Happy Birthday Wagner, oldest Chinstrap penguin in North America

-  Wagner is no ordinary penguin. She's celebrating because today is her birthday. At 32 years old Wagner is the oldest chinstrap penguin in North America.

Chinstrap Penguins are named for the thin line of black feathers that runs beneath their chin that resembles a helmet. The typical lifespan of a Chinstrap penguin is in the mid-twenties so you see, Wagner has a lot to celebrate

If she could speak English she’d probably account for her longevity to the excellent care she’s received from the staff at Moody Gardens and the pyramid aquarium she calls home.

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 on this special day swimming in the chilly waters of her exhibit,  as she does on most days.

She is one of 15 Chinstrap Penguins that inhabit the South Atlantic Exhibit in the Aquarium Pyramid along with Gentoo, King, Macaroni and Macaroni Penguins.  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 Association of Zoos and Aquariums  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.  


Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit, educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.

 For more information call 800-582-4673 or visit www.moodygardens.org.


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