penguin in brazil
A penguin covered in oil lies dead off the coast of Piriapolis, Uruguay, Wednesday, June 11, 2008. An undetermined amount of fuel oil was released into the ocean on Wednesday, June 4, 2008 after a ship slammed against another one near the harbor of Uruguay's capital, according to Uruguayan officials. This and others oil contaminations could be one of the causes of the unusual migration of the penguins to the beach of Brazil
from AP Photo by Marcelo Hernandez

During the first half of this month I was in Brazil for the Rolex Ilhabela Sailing Week. Ilhabela is a wonderful island (one of the biggest of Brazil) halfway between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, more or less 140km southwest of the latter.
A very strange thing I noticed was several penguins in the sea (I would never ever have expected to see penguins in Brazil). They were everywhere, small heads peeping out from the surface, immediately disappearing, and sadly many corpses floating too. Native people explained me that it's not unusual in that part of Brazil to see penguins in winter (our summer); They are young individuals looking for food drifted from Patagonia by stong currents.
However they also explained me that this year the number of them is absolutely many times higher than normal.
This event, unusual and very sad (they are almost condamned to die being unable to go back to Patagonia), has now been reported by the media, above all because hundreds of little corpses have reached the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.
The main causes are probably the climate change that forces the penguins to find food further and further from their native land and the oil contamination that hit Patagonia in the last months.
Read more on these articles:
Hundred of baby penguins found dead in Brazil (ABC News)
Why are the penguins dying on the beaches of Brazil? (Seattle Times)

penguin in brazil
A penguin swims near Praia do Forte beach, in Cabo Frio, Brazil, Tuesday, July 22, 2008. More than 400 penguins, most of them young, have been found dead on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro state over the past two months, according to Eduardo Pimenta, superintendent for the state coastal protection and environment agency in the resort city of Cabo Frio. from AP Photo by Ricardo Moraes
penguin in brazil
A Brazilian coast guard officer holds a rescued penguin, in Cabo Frio, Brazil, Tuesday, July 22, 2008. More than 400 penguins, most of them young, have been found dead on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro state over the past two months, according to Eduardo Pimenta, superintendent for the state coastal protection and environment agency in the resort city of Cabo Frio.
penguin in brazil

A zoo worker feeds penguins, rescued off the coast of Rio de Janeiro by the Brazilian Coast Guard, at the Niteroi Zoo in Rio de Janeiro, Friday, July 18, 2008. According to officials, over 400 baby penguins have been found dead on the state's shores over the past two months. While large numbers of penguins arrive on Rio de Janeiro's beaches every year, swept to sea by strong ocean currents from the Strait of Magellan, this year is seeing higher numbers and more dead penguins than usual.
from
AP Photo by Ricardo Moraes

penguin in brazil
A Brazilian coast guard officer examines a rescued penguin, in Cabo Frio, Tuesday, July 22, 2008. More than 400 penguins, most of them young, have been found dead on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro state over the past two months, according to Eduardo Pimenta, superintendent for the state coastal protection and environment agency in the resort city of Cabo Frio.
from AP Photo by Ricardo Moraes

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