09/12/2016 14:19 GMT | Updated 09/12/2016 14:49 GMT

Calgary Zoo Launches Urgent Probe After 7 Penguins Drown

'This is devastating news'

A Canadian zoo has launched a probe after seven of its Humboldt penguins drowned in one of its exhibits.

The Calgary Zoo announced the tragic news on Thursday morning, after the birds were found in the back holding area of the Penguin Plunge.

The zoo’s veterinary team has completed autopsies on all of the birds and have concluded they died as a result of drowning.  

Marcel ter Bekke via Getty Images
The zoo had a total of 22 birds in the Humboldt colony. Seven have drowned (file picture)

Jamie Dorgan, Director of Animal Care, said: “This is devastating news. We have launched a full investigation so we can try to understand what happened and prevent further incidents like this from happening again.”

The zoo had a total of 22 birds in the Humboldt colony. Three other species live in Penguin Plunge including kings, gentoos and rockhopper penguins.

The BBC reports that a number of animals have died in mysterious circumstances at the zoo.

An otter drowned after becoming entangled in a pair of trousers given to him by his keepers last year and in 2009 a capybara was crushed to death by a hydraulic door.