Penguin Pete was the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first mascot.
Pete was an Ecuadorian-born penguin on loan from the Pittsburgh Zoo. Penguins officials even had special ice skates made for Pete by CCM in Canada. A skater from the University of Pittsburgh taught Pete at the arena how to ice skate.
Pete made his first appearance during the second intermission of a game against the Boston Bruins on February 21, 1968. He made six more appearances.
Petes' last appearance was on November 16, 1968 during a game against the New York Rangers. He died of pneumonia on November 23, 1968. It is believed that his death was due to the ice crew at the Civic Arena keeping his nesting area too warm.
After his death, Pete was sent to an area taxidermist and was later displayed in the lobby of the Penguins team offices at the arena. However, the stuffed Pete was later removed from the lobby after a few concerned callers objected to its presence there, according to then-Penguins owner Jack McGregor.
A second penguin mascot, dubbed "Re-Pete'" was later loaned to the team and made it through the 1971–72 NHL season.