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14-year-old African penguin, Ben, from Singapore Zoo dies from respiratory tract lumps (Photos: Mandai Wildlife Reserve/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — Ben, a 14-year-old African penguin from the Singapore Zoo, died on Monday (28 August) from lumps in its respiratory tract.

In a Facebook video posted on Tuesday (29 August), Mandai Wildlife Reserve said that the penguin care team and vets collectively made the tough decision to let Ben pass on, while under anaesthesia.

This was after a computerised tomography scan on Monday revealed that Ben’s condition had worsened, and had reached a point of discomfort that was “no longer tolerable”.

Ben had previously received intensive treatment for its condition after comprehensive analysis.

“All of us involved in Ben’s care gave our fullest in the hope of a full recovery. Ben was a fighter. But sometimes, even the strength of these combined efforts is just not enough,” said Ravan, Ben’s long-time caregiver.

Most approachable penguin in the zoo

Ben was one of the most approachable penguins at the Singapore Zoo, and was well-loved by both children and adult visitors.

Often seen with long-time partner Bella, it was a role model for other penguins in the pack, and was frequently involved in presentations, events and programmes.

Moving forward, the penguin care team will be focusing their attention on caring for Bella, to make sure it is comfortable and secure.

“Ben lived a full and loved live with us at Singapore Zoo, and we will miss him,” the team said.

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