Since last weekend, about 50 penguins, some dead and others in very poor health, have reached the coasts of Montevideo, Canelones, Maldonado and Rocha. The SOS Marine Fauna Rescue organization, located at the Princess Laetitia d’Aremberg Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Punta Colorada, has been the one that has received the animals. They have approached or have alerted their presence both lifeguards, Prefectura or people who are on the beach.
According to Richard Tesore, coordinator of the organization, the cause that has caused them to arrive in those states is still unknown, although two theories are handled. The first is that there was a lot of feeding near the breeding area, which is Patagonia, so the penguins, who usually lay two eggs and raise a single pigeon, this time they were able to raise the two because of the abundance of food. “That could have caused that, as there is a lot of population, the adults are evicting the juveniles before time and without having the right weight,” explained Tesore. The other theory they handle is the opposite: the lack of food.
“We are doing studies and hydrating them, since many are very weak and can not eat, only some of us are feeding them with fish porridge,” the coordinator noted. “We still do not know how many will survive, many of whom were rescued died in the first hours of reaching the coast,” he added.
Of the 50 penguins that have appeared, 15 arrived alive at the rescue center.
“Different reasons bring them to land: fuels that affect the plumage and impermeability, wounds produced by networks and low weight that makes it difficult to maintain the temperature in the water and takes them out of the environment away from food,” said the expert.
Tesore estimates that they should receive assistance for at least 45 days. Once they are replenished, they will be returned to the sea before the winter begins, so they can continue their journey. “The important thing is to return them together, because they are animals that travel in a group,” he said.
The Magellanic penguin or Spheniscus magellanicus is a frequent traveler from the Uruguayan waters. The species reproduces in Valdez Peninsula, in the South of Argentina and after spending the summer in those latitudes it migrates to the North, more specifically to Brazil, to face the winter with better temperatures. During this migration, it passes twice a year along the coasts of the country.
“They are animals that travel every year from Patagonia to Florianópolis or Rio de Janeiro, it’s a trip they usually do from May to September, they started earlier this year, it’s not normal for them to arrive on this date and in such a large quantity,” he explained. Treasure
For the assistance of these and other species that arrive at the coast, SOS has a team of veterinarians, students and volunteers.
Tesore explains that in case of encountering one of those penguins on the coast and in those conditions, “it is important to keep them dry and warm.”
For information or instructions, or to get them to the Rescue and Rehabilitation center, you should call the coordinator at 094.330.795.
Source: El Pais