10th Oct 2012 5:23pm | By Dan Thorne
It's a sad day for our adorable flightless friends at London Zoo - an outbreak of malaria has killed six of the birds.
According to the BBC the Humboldt penguins died in August after contracting the disease from mosquitoes. Avian malaria isn't dangerous for humans and can't be passed on.
According to the BBC the Humboldt penguins died in August after contracting the disease from mosquitoes. Avian malaria isn't dangerous for humans and can't be passed on. The wet summer proved perfect breeding conditions for mozzies.
The remaining penguins are “healthy and well” according to staff at the zoo.
A spokeswoman for London Zoo told The Sun “They have it [anti-malaria medication] all the time as a daily dose, given it with their breakfast. We put a tablet in their fish and every single penguin gets one in the morning. The keepers also spray lavender oil in the penguins’ nest boxes which is a natural deterrent."
“We plant lavender around the enclosure and the penguins use that to build their nests. We do a lot to stop this from happening so obviously it’s a very sad occasion.”
Watch London Zoo's penguins as they go about their penguin business on this live webcam
Main image: Getty
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