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7 African penguins die at Florida aquarium, authorities say they may never know why


(TAMPA BAY, Fla.) — Seven penguins have suddenly died at a Florida aquarium and authorities, so far, have been unable to figure out the cause.

The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay announced the seven mysterious deaths in a social media post on Thursday, July 8, saying they will “leave no stone unturned in our efforts to understand the tragic course of events,” but admitting that the cause of death to the seven African Penguins may never be known.

“It is with heavy hearts that The Florida Aquarium announces the passing of seven of our African penguins,” the aquarium said in their statement. “At this time the cause of death is unknown and under examination … The Aquarium’s remaining penguins are receiving around the clock observation and care, and we remain cautiously optimistic.”

The Florida Aquarium said that it has provided world-class care to a colony of African penguins since 2006 and that they have long been advocates for the conservation of the species.

“It’s never easy to communicate the loss of a species ambassador especially one as iconic as our African penguins,” said The Florida Aquarium in their statement announcing the mysterious deaths. “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.”

It was only just over six weeks ago that the ZooTampa at Lowry Park, located six miles north of The Florida Aquarium, announced on social media that they had lost 12 stingrays inside their Stingray Bay enclosure over an unknown cause as well.

“The animal care and veterinary teams are examining all of the mechanical equipment involved and testing the water, all of which indicate optimal water quality and conditions,” said ZooTampa at the time of the death of the 12 stingrays. “It may take several weeks for all of the test results to come in.”

The investigation into the deaths of the seven penguins is currently ongoing.

“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 aquarium said. “Unfortunately, we may never know the cause of death.”

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