San Francisco Zoo owl ‘King Richard’ dies at 50 years old
The San Francisco Zoo’s great horned owl named King Richard has died at the age of 50, a lifespan more that double the average for the species.
The owl, a regular sight in zoo educational programs for 37 years, died in April. On April 1, King Richard became the oldest great horned owl on record in the United States, according to the zoo.
The zoo announced King Richard’s death in the newsletter of Zoo Director Tanya Peterson.
King Richard was actually a female owl, something that wasn’t apparent to her caretakers until she started laying eggs a few years after coming to the San Francisco Zoo in 1975.
According to the zoo, King Richard lived in a San Francisco home for a year after hatching in 1972. She was first given to a museum in Walnut Creek and then to the zoo.