SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — A San Francisco penguin who gained famed when he was forced to sport a wetsuit and also starred in a children’s book has died at the age of 33.
The California Academy of Sciences announced that Pierre the penguin, the oldest bird in the academy’s colony of African penguins, died recently from kidney failure.READ MORE: Napa Valley Grape Growers Say Dry Year Survivable But Fear Prolonged Drought
In the wild, African penguins have an average lifespan of 15-20 years.READ MORE: Red Flag Warning Now in Effect for North and East Bay Hills Through Weekend
During his lifetime, Pierre had several mates with whom he produced 16 chicks, 27 grand-chicks, and 11 great grand-chicks. His lineage is represented worldwide. This is important because African penguins were classified as an endangered species in 2010 and are at very high risk of extinction in the wild.
In 2007, biologists designed a wetsuit for Pierre when his feathers didn’t grow back after a difficult molt. He wore the suit for several weeks in 2008 and his feathers grew back.MORE NEWS: Fatal Rollover Crash Closes Portion of Highway 101 in San Jose Friday Night
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