Britain’s oldest penguin turned 35 today and celebrated with her toy boy – and a sprat.
The elderly penguin – called Pat – is still entertaining crowds in the zoo where she was hatched in 1978.
She is currently the oldest penguin in the UK and the second oldest in Europe.
Pat, an African or Black Footed penguin which normally live until they are 20, is a star attraction at Living Costs in Torquay, Devon.
Keeper Cara Burton said Pat lives with her toy boy partner called Eddie who is aged just 11.
She said: ”Pat has a very distinctive stance with her flippers sticking out. She can be seen by her burrow or down at the public feeds.
“Eddie likes to preen her and show her lots of affection. She is a very sweet penguin, quite happy to approach keepers for fish.
”Once she has decided she has had enough will head back to her burrow holding a sprat in her beak.
“At the moment she is freshly moulted. She is a very healthy and happy-looking bird, hopefully she has many more years to come.”
Living Coasts spokesman Phil Knowling said Pat is in the right place – as Torquay is well know for its ageing population.
He said: “It shows the English Riviera is great for us more mature types.”
Pat was hatched at Paignton Zoo in 1978, but has lived at its sister attraction Living Coasts since it opened in 2003.
The lifespan of an African or Black Footed penguin is typically 20 years in the wild.
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