SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The San Francisco Zoo announced Wednesday in a press release its oldest Magellanic penguin, “Captain EO,” died at an estimated 40 years of age. The zoo says that species has a life expectancy of 20-30 years.
Captain first arrived as an adult at the SF Zoo back in 1984, according to the release. The animal was named after the Michael Jackson-themed ride at Disneyland “Captain EO,” which opened 1986 and is no longer in operation.
“Captain EO was truly a legend and a penguin that has seen generations of penguins succeed him,” Tanya M. Peterson, CEO and Executive Director of San Francisco Zoological Society, said in a press release. “This is an animal that was much beloved by years of penguin caretakers…”
Captain leaves behind 26 offspring, 31 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren, SF Zoo officials said. He was one of the oldest penguins living under human care.
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Magellanic penguins, which are based in South America, are one of 18 species of penguins, of which 14 live in warm climates. The species is considered to be “threatened,” the release said.