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King penguin Missy at Birdland may be world's oldest

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image captionMissy is blind in one eye so she uses her wing as a guide against the enclosure to help her navigate

A king penguin at a Cotswolds bird park could be the world's oldest in captivity, her keepers believe.

Missy - who arrived at Birdland in 1982 as an adult - is the matriarch of England's only colony of King penguins.

"She must be at the very least, 36 years old and she could actually be significantly older," said Simon Blackwell, Birdland manager.

The current record is 29 and the park has written to Guinness World Records to see if Missy can claim the title.

'Star couple'

"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," said Mr Blackwell.

Missy, who has lost her sight in one eye, spends much of her time with Seth, her penguin partner of 18 years, the park said.

"The fact that she can only see out of one eye doesn't appear to have slowed her down at all, and she uses one of her wings as a guide against the side of her enclosure to help her navigate her way around," said Mr Blackwell.

"Her partner Seth is also no spring chicken. He arrived two years after Missy but must also be in his early 30s.

"They're certainly the star couple as he had a leading role in the 1992 film Batman Returns, playing an evil penguin alongside Danny DeVito," he said.

According to Guinness World Records, the oldest penguin ever in captivity was Rocky, a rockhopper penguin who was one of six who arrived at Bergen Aquarium, Norway in 1974.

He lived there until his death in October 2003, aged 29 years and four months.

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