SAN FRANCISCO - A San Francisco penguin that once sported a wetsuit and also starred in a children book has died at the age off 33.
The California Academy of Sciences announced that Pierre the penguin, the oldest bird in the academy's colony of African penguins, died recently from kidney failure.
In the wild, African penguins have an average lifespan of 15-20 years.
During his lifetime, Pierre had several mates with whom he produced 16 chicks, 27 grand-chicks, and 11 great grand-chicks. His lineage is represented worldwide.
This is important because African penguins were classified as an endangered species in 2010 and are at very high risk of extinction in the wild.
In 2007, biologists designed a wetsuit for Pierre when his feathers didn't grow back after a difficult molt. He wore the suit for several weeks in 2008 and his feathers grew back.