Zoo Knoxville announced the death of beloved zoo ambassador “Gypsy” African penguin.
The 30-year-old penguin began exhibiting serious health problems suddenly on Sunday. Her team of caregivers, led by Dr. Andrew Cushing from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, performed a blood transfusion using blood donated from two other penguins in her flock. She was monitored throughout the night Sunday by Dr. Cushing. However, her health continued to decline rapidly and the difficult decision was made Monday to humanely euthanize her when it became clear she would not recover.
Gypsy was a well-known and beloved ambassador for Zoo Knoxville, inspiring guests to connect with and care about her species through hundreds of behind-the-scenes encounters over the years. Gypsy first came to Zoo Knoxville in 1992 from King’s Island, Ohio. She successfully hatched her only offspring in 1994. In 2001, she traveled to Memphis to be a part of her flock before returning to Knoxville in 2004.

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