7 African penguins mysteriously dead at Florida aquarium

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Seven African penguins at Tampa’s Florida Aquarium have died due to an unknown cause. 

The aquarium announced the news in a Thursday Facebook post. 

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“It is with heavy hearts that The Florida Aquarium announces the passing of seven of our African penguins. At this time the cause of death is unknown and under examination. While initial necropsy (animal autopsy) results were inconclusive, the Aquarium’s veterinary team is conducting further medical tests and evaluations to determine a possible cause,” the facility wrote. “The Aquarium’s remaining penguins are receiving around-the-clock observation and care, and we remain cautiously optimistic.”

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The aquarium noted that while its team would work rigorously to discover the cause of the deaths – it may never be possible.

“It’s never easy to communicate the loss of a species ambassador especially one as iconic as our African penguins. The Florida Aquarium will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to understand this tragic course of events,” they said. “Unfortunately, we may never know the cause of death.”

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The 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization was established in 1995, has rescued hundreds of animals and is home to around 9,000 aquatic and terrestrial animals.

The aquarium has worked with a colony of 10 African penguins of 2006, according to Fox 13

“The Florida Aquarium has provided world-class care to a colony of African penguins since 2006 and long worked for the conservation of the species,” the Florida Aquarium wrote. “These are especially trying times for The Florida Aquarium. As the team puts all their resources into the investigation and the continued care of all the animals, we respectfully ask for your patience.”

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The penguins’ death comes just two months following news that 12 of Zoo Tampa’s stingrays had perished due to a technical issue with that facility’s tank. 

Recent reports of fish kills and the deaths of hundreds of manatees have plagued the Tampa Bay area as algae blooms have cropped up in waterways.