New Orleans,
11:03 PM

Audubon Nature Institute saddened to announce the loss of 28-year-old penguin, "Kohl"

With a heavy heart Audubon Aquarium announces that Kohl, one of its much-loved African penguins, has been humanely euthanized following a decline in health due to severe joint deterioration.

Kohl, who had turned 28-years-old in November, was being treated daily with medication, but the advancement of the disease began to impact his quality of life. The decision was made by the animal care staff and veterinary team to say goodbye to the aging penguin.

Kohl, had lived to be twice the age of penguins in the wild, and over his years at the Aquarium formed a strong bond with one of his caregivers, Senior Aviculturist, Tom Dyer.

“Kohl and I had been best friends since I started working at the Aquarium 17 years ago,” said Dyer. “He was such a sweet and gentle bird and an incredible ambassador for penguins in the wild. He will be missed dearly.”

Widely known as the “celebrity of the penguin colony,” Kohl made multiple appearances on news stations, television shows and even visited New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu at City Hall. He was the only animal at Audubon Nature Institute with a Twitter handle, spreading news about important issues involving his own critically endangered species and was an ambassador penguin that participated in the Aquarium’s popular Backstage Penguin Pass.

“Kohl did so much to help the Aquarium share important messages on conservation,” said Beth Firchau, Audubon Aquarium’s Director of Husbandry. “Elmyr, a young female penguin, will take over Kohl’s Twitter account, and will continue to share topics addressing the challenges penguins face in the ocean.”

If the public would like to share any memories or thoughts with the Aquarium staff during this time, please leave a note below or on Audubon Nature Institute's Facebook page.

Comments 1 - 5 (5)
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Maureen Reid
My sincere condolences to Tom and all the staff at the Aquarium on the loss of Kohl. I have so enjoyed following Kohl and Tom and all of you on the animal planet live camera. So sorry to hear about this and thinking of you at this difficult time. Thank you for taking such good care of Kohl and all the penguins.

Vancouver, Canada
Dave A
It is truly a blessing that this penguin had so many people give the love and care he needed. Tom, you're a blessing in disguise to have made sure that this guy was taken care of and cares for exceptionally. I am sure that in the Penguin Heaven that he is in, he is looking down upon you with love for what you did.

Overall, you all do a beyond incredible job with the upkeep, and care, for all of the marine life at the Audubon Aquarium.

Be proud of yourselves for there are very few of you.

God Bless and thank you

Such sad news, my heart goes out to his best friend Tom, we have tickets for the penguin experience March 30, and we're so looking forward to meeting Kohl. Thank you to the aquarium staff for all you do. See you in a couple weeks.
Karyn Miller
My thoughts are with all of you. Rest in peace, dear Kohl. I will miss you!
I have loved penguins since I was about 2 (according to my mother). I am 39 now. I remember introducing my children to Kohl and the other penguins at the Aquarium and passing that love along to them both. When we moved to Seattle two years ago, following Kohl online (which I've done since Tom started the account) was a tie that helped us stay connected to New Orleans. My heart goes out to the staff of the Aquarium and most especially to Tom. I lost my dog this year who has been with our family 14 years. Losing someone who you've shared so much of yourself with - and who knows you and loves you in a way people may never - is incredibly hard. The blessing of those years together is such a privilege - and that continued in our hearts. Thank you for helping Kohl have those wonderful years and a beautiful passage. And welcome to Elmyr, this New Orleanian in Seattle is thankful you will continue Kohl's legacy.
Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.

photo:Katie Smith
Katie Smith
Senior Director of Public Relations and Social Media
Office: (504) 378-2693
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