Little blue penguin Toto marks big birthday

Toto camera ready (Supplied)
Toto camera ready (Supplied)

Love is the secret behind little blue penguin Toto reaching a record 25 years and becoming the oldest living of her kind in the world, her keeper says.

Born on December 6, 1990, Toto has lived four times the average six-and-a-half-year lifespan of blue penguins - the smallest penguins in the world.

While her eyesight may be failing and her mind not as sharp, it doesn't stop Toto from packing away the fish, the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch says.

Toto and her boyfriend Danny (Supplied)

She was brought to the centre in 2007 from Napier's Marineland after it closed down.

Toto is known for enjoying a wiggle and dance after a wee dip in the pool. Penguin keeper Dianne Lim puts the secret to her longevity down to her boyfriend Danny.

"[He] is her big love and he's quite a few years younger than her. He had damaged flippers and is not so good in the water but he is a champion nest builder and Toto always has a nice warm bed to come home to. They are our longest lasting couple by far," says Ms Lim.

The Antarctic Centre will celebrate her birthday this weekend and have reduced general admission entry tickets $25.

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