The Florida Aquarium announced that it’ll “leave no stone unturned in our efforts to understand the tragic course of events” after 7 penguins died for unkown reasons.
The 7 African penguins lived at the Tampa Bay location, which has been housing African penguins since 2006, and an investigation is now ongoing to figure out exactly what transpired, ABC News reports.
“It’s never easy to communicate the loss of a species ambassador especially one as iconic as our African penguins,” the aquarium wrote in their statement. “These are especially trying times for The Florida Aquarium. As the team puts all their resources into the investigation and the continued care of all the animals, we respectfully ask for your patience.”
The news comes just six weeks after ZooTampa at Lowry Park—which is six miles away—dealt with the loss of 12 stingrays inside their Stingray Bay enclosure for unknown reasons. Animal care and veterinary teams are reportedly “examining all of the mechanical equipment involved and testing the water, all of which indicate optimal water quality and conditions,” ZooTampa wrote.
“While initial necropsy (animal autopsy) results were inconclusive, the Aquarium’s veterinary team is conducting further medical tests and evaluations to determine a possible cause,” the aquarium said regarding the deaths of the penguins. “Unfortunately, we may never know the cause of death.”