Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Sadness in the passing of Humphrey the Penguin

In balance with all the abundance of new life we’ve been celebrating this spring comes the unfortunate inevitability of some lives coming to an end. 
Friends and regular followers of our Humboldt Penguins here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter will probably know a key character called Humphrey.  Humphrey hatched three years ago with a hunched back – a curvature of the spine.  Although not as agile as the other Penguins on land, Humphrey was a tremendous swimmer who really came into his own in the water.  Right from the start Humphrey asserted himself as more than able to cope, despite his disability. 

Humphrey in pool (resized) 5 Dec 2011

We had been told that Penguins with this condition are not likely to have a long lifespan – due to a variety of health issues and physical complications that they are prone to.  During his life, Humphrey received regular check ups from our vet who has treated Humphrey each year for a recurring respiratory disorder.  Although his laboured breathing never cleared entirely, we were able to keep at bay, and our vet was confident that Humphrey was not in any pain.  That was until a few weeks ago when Humphrey’s health started to deteriorate further.  Over the last few days, although still as brilliant in the pool as ever, Humphrey’s breathing became uncomfortably laboured.  The difficult decision was taken yesterday and Humphrey was put to sleep.

Humphrey (resized) DSC_0324DSC_0310 

 Being part of a wildlife park is not about keeping animals alive for our sake, or for the pleasure of our visitors; it’s about giving our animals the very best life they can possibly have whilst under our care. Today is sad for all of us and Humphrey will be greatly missed. However his spirit and memory will live on forever in our pool.


  1. Ah, bless him. He was definitely a character and each time we saw him in the water he was loving it and the attention he got.

  2. this is so sad r.i.p. humphery you will be very sadly missed you were such a character

  3. So sorry to hear the news about Humphrey - thinking of you all at the Park.

    I'm sure that there is a Rainbow Bridge for penguins - swim free, Humphrey!