Maryland Zoo Mourns Laughing Kookaburra

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Bloke (via Maryland Zoo)
Bloke (via Maryland Zoo)

One of the Maryland Zoo’s most distinctive voices has fallen silent. Bloke, the Maryland Zoo’s much-loved Laughing Kookaburra, died overnight, and the Zoo is in mourning.

Bloks was 23 years old, and died peacefully, according to staff.

“On exhibit, he was known to be aggressive with his prey items and was always leaving a mess for keepers,” said Maryland Zoo general curator, Mike McClure. “In addition, he was very friendly with staff and would vocalize on command.”

The sound of schoolchildren laughing would trigger Bloke’s “hoot,” delighting all who came in contact with him.

“Once he started calling, no one else could get a word in edgewise,” said Amy Eveleth, animal collection specialist. Kookaburras use the laugh to mark territory.

Bloke was well-known beyond these parts. He made frequent appearances on TV show animal segments, including Larry King Live and Martha Stewart. He was also a frequent guest of Jack Hanna.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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