The Humboldt penguin is named for explorer Alexander von Humboldt.
In 1953, a Humboldt penguin was found far from its home range in The Bronx, New York. It was the only instance of a Humboldt penguin in Atlantic waters near the United States. No zoos in the area were missing penguins, but it may have come from a private individual’s collection.
The oldest Humboldt penguin known was named Mr. Sea, a captive penguin from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. Mr. Sea was almost 32 years old when he passed away. The usually lifespan of a Humboldt penguin is around half of that.
Historically, Humboldt penguins have been targeted in Peru for their guano, which is a high quality fertilizer, and their eggs. In the 1800s, many breeding grounds were destroyed due to guano harvesting.