"Our much-loved raven Merlina has not been seen at the Tower for several weeks," Historic Royal Palaces says

By Katie Campione
January 14, 2021 05:42 PM
Queen Raven
| Credit: twitter

The Tower of London's queen raven, Merlina, is missing and feared dead, Historic Royal Palaces said.

On Wednesday, the Tower of London shared on its Twitter account that the raven had not been seen in weeks and that this may be an indication she has died.

"We have some really unhappy news to share," the message reads. "Our much-loved raven Merlina has not been seen at the Tower for several weeks, and her continued absence indicates to us that she may have sadly passed away."

"Though it isn't unusual for our ravens to roam outside the walls, free-spirited Merlina has previously always returned to the Tower and to the Ravenmaster and his team, with whom she shared a wonderfully close bond," the thread continued.

Legend has it that if there are less than six ravens at the tower, the kingdom will fall. Luckily, there are still seven ravens at the tower, even with Merlina's absence.

"We don't have any immediate plans to fill Merlina's vacancy," the Tower of London account wrote. "However in time we hope that a new chick from our breeding programme will be up to the formidable challenge of continuing her legacy."

Merlina has been at the tower since 2007, and she quickly became the leader of the roost, according to Historic Royal Palaces.

In 2018, Ravenmaster Christopher Skaife spoke with PEOPLE about the ravens under his care and their boisterous personalities.

"Croaking loudly at visitors, posing for selfies, rifling through your bag for a box of Pringles. Or, like Merlina, laying on her back on Tower Green, with her legs in the air, playing dead to the shock of those who walk by," he said.

He added, "There is a misconception about [the birds]. They are associated with ill omens in the past. But here the omen is a good omen. I see my role as educational. I am trying to educate visitors about how beautiful and intelligent and smart [the ravens] actually are."