NEW ORLEANS -- The Audubon Aquarium is mourning the death of one its beloved penguins.
"Kohl" the penguin was 28 years old.
The Aquarium said the penguin had to be euthanized because of severe joint deterioration. Wild penguins usually only live for about 14 years. Kohl, had lived to be twice the age of penguins in the wild, and over his years at the Aquarium formed a strong bond with one of his caregivers, Senior Aviculturist, Tom Dyer.
“Kohl and I had been best friends since I started working at the Aquarium 17 years ago,” Dyer said. “He was such a sweet and gentle bird and an incredible ambassador for penguins in the wild. He will be missed dearly.”
Widely known as the “celebrity of the penguin colony,” Kohl made multiple appearances on news stations, television shows and even visited New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu at City Hall.
He was the only animal at Audubon Nature Institute with a Twitter handle and was an ambassador penguin that participated in the Aquarium’s popular Backstage Penguin Pass.
“Kohl did so much to help the Aquarium share important messages on conservation,” said Beth Firchau, Audubon Aquarium’s Director of Husbandry. “Elmyr, a young female penguin, will take over Kohl’s Twitter account, and will continue to share topics addressing the challenges penguins face in the ocean.”
If the public would like to share any memories or thoughts with the Aquarium staff during this time, please leave a note below or on Audubon Nature Institute's Facebook page.
Kohl, you were loved by all. Hope to make you proud & will continue penguin tweets. Goodbye, old pal ❤ Elmyr https://t.co/u2BEo2jDKD— kohlthepenguin (@kohlthepenguin) March 15, 2017