World’s oldest penguin turns 36 (that’s 108 in human terms)

She might be a tough old bird, but that hasn’t stopped her waddling her way into the record books.

Missy the penguin will claim the crown as the oldest in the world after reaching 36 years old – a staggering 108 in human years.

The ancient King penguin arrived at the Birdland wildlife park in Gloucestershire when she was at least five years old in 1982 – and despite losing the sight in one eye she is still the leader of the colony today.

Keepers had no idea that she was the world’s oldest until a zoo in Denmark claimed the title with a Gentoo penguin two years younger than Missy.

Staff at Birdland Park and Gardens, in Bourton-on-the-Water are now planning to send her details to the Guinness World Records to prove she has smashed the record.

King penguins – Aptenodytes patagonicus in Latin – are only expected to live up to 26 years in captivity, much more than the 15-20 years life expectancy in the wild.

Missy spends most of her time with her partner of 18 years, Seth, who is thought to be 34 years old and had a starring role in the 1992 film Batman Returns.

Simon Blackwell, park manager, said: ‘The Danish zoo recently announced they believed that a Gentoo penguin there was the world’s oldest living penguin having reached the age of 34 in May.

‘Although we cannot categorically age Missy we do know she was an adult when she came to Birdland and king penguins take five years to become fully mature.

‘Therefore she must be, at the very least, 36 years old and she could actually be significantly older.

‘King penguins live to be around 26 years old on average in captivity, and even less in the wild due to predators and diseases.

‘You really wouldn’t know Missy’s old age to look at her, she acts like all of the other penguins here.

‘The fact that she can only see out of one eye doesn’t appear to have slowed her down at all.

‘She uses one of her wings as a guide against the side of her enclosure to help her navigate her way around.

‘We believe she is the oldest penguin in the world and we are planning to look into applying with the Guiness World Records.’

King penguins are distinguishable by their orange tinted breasts, cheeks, and beaks.

They are the second largest species of penguin, can weigh up to 40lbs, and can dive to over 330ft at a time.