He is an Australian species and is often mistaken for an owl. His name is Gerben and he is actually older than Paultons Park itself!
Gerben is a male Tawny Frogmouth who resides at the Hampshire-based family theme park and is believed to be the world’s oldest Tawny Frogmouth.
At 33 years old, Gerben, which is Dutch for bear, hatched at Rotterdam Zoo, one of the biggest attractions in the Netherlands, in 1980. He was then transferred to Copenhagen Zoo as part of a breeding loan.
In 1991, he came across to the UK to join Paignton Zoo in Devon, however due to an unsuccessful breeding programme he was brought to Paultons Park, with his partner Fleur, in April 2001.
Paultons Park livestock manager, Geoff Masson, said: “We have done lots of research and we cannot find a Tawny Frogmouth in captivity as being reported older than 23 years old. It’s amazing that he is actually older than Paultons Park itself which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
“Gerben has been with us for 12 years and in that time we have produced a successful breeding programme, with the first chick being hatched in 2005. We also recently welcomed Gerben and Fleur’s new chick, Willow, to the Park.”
Tawny Frogmouth pairs stay together until one of the pair dies and in the wild breed from August to December.