The penguin, named Cecilia, hatched at the zoo on March 20th.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium announced that the Humboldt penguin, born earlier this year, died suddenly last week.

The penguin, named Cecilia, hatched at the zoo on March 20th.

According to the zoo, Cecilia started breathing problems last Thursday.

The zoo’s animal protection team was able to intubate Cecilia to help her breathe.

While Cecilia was initially starting to improve, the zoo said she still couldn’t breathe on her own when they picked up the phone. She was re-intubated and kept on oxygen.

Over the next few hours, Cecilia’s condition gradually deteriorated and there were signs of central nervous system damage.

The zoo said it was decided to euthanize her humanely.

Today we sadly announce the sudden death of Humboldt’s favorite penguin chick, which hatched on March 20 …

Author Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The zoo team said there were no definite answers to her autopsy, and the tissues will be sent to an outdoor lab for further findings.

“Our animal care team is having a hard time with this loss, as they have been in close contact with Cecilia, the first Humboldt penguin chicks to be raised by our Shores team by hand,” the zoo said.

Cecilia was raised by hand because of an outbreak of bird flu among wild bird species, but the zoo said it did not cause its decline.

The zoo said Cecilia’s name came from some of their favorite office tunes (“Saint Cecilia” by Foo Fighters and “Cecilia” by Simon and Garfankel), and when Cecilia grunted, it sounded like music to them.

Last month, Cecilia received a brooder made by one class of Ohio State University College of Engineering. The lower part is fully extendable, and the upper and front are open for easy access and cleaning.

The box will be used for future flamingo chicks or other animals under their care who may be able to use it and dedicate the box in honor of Cecilia.

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