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World's oldest African penguin celebrates 41st birthday at Virginia zoo

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Posted at 1:06 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 13:06:53-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — The Metro Richmond Zoo in Virginia is celebrating the birthday of a very special animal.

ET, a female African penguin, turned 41 years old on Thursday, January 28.

ET is the oldest living African penguin in the world, according to the zoo, which cited its "best available data."

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Oldest African penguin in the world turns 41

In the wild, the average lifespan of African penguins is around 15-20 years, but they can live much longer at the zoo.

ET arrived at the Metro Richmond Zoo in 1995.

"Penguins are monogamous and will mate for life," a zoo spokesperson wrote in an email. "She has outlived two of her mates at the Metro Richmond Zoo, and her current mate is Einstein."

Zoo officials said ET was in good health, considering her age.

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This story was originally published by Scott Wise at WTVR.