Penguins affected by Uruguay oil spill returned to ocean

Thursday, August 23, 2007
Yarmouth Port, MA
After several weeks of rehabilitation work, the rescue crew of IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare - www.ifaw.org) and the Uruguayan organization SOCOBIOMA (the Society for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Maldonado) has released the first group of penguins rescued from an oil spill weeks ago. The birds are now completely rehabilitated and healthy.
This rescue not only saved the lives of these animals, but also made it possible for IFAW to share its expertise in carrying out this type of rescue operation with SOCOBIOMA.
 
“When a bird’s plumage is contaminated with oil or any chemical, it loses its permeability and, as a consequence, its ability to regulate its body temperature. In this case, the penguins are forced out of the freezing waters in a state of hypothermia, which leads to dehydration and starvation,” said Dr. Rodolfo da Silva of IFAW.
 
More than forty Magellan penguins have been cared for at the SOCOBIOMA center in Maldonado, Uruguay. “We are very pleased to be able to release our first group of penguins. This is an achievement we owe to the dedication and professionalism of our volunteers and specialists,” Dr. Lourdes Casas of SOCOBIOMA declared.

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