Touching moment of rescue of penguins released into the sea

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Touching footage shows how 12 rescued penguins were released back into the sea after being found malnourished and dehydrated.

Zenger News obtained a statement from the Mundo Marino Foundation on June 16 that the 12 Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) had been returned to the sea together because it increased their chances of survival and being able to continue their migration.

The release took place on the beaches of San Clemente del Tuyu, on Argentina’s Atlantic coast, on the morning of June 15.

Twelve Magellanic penguins rescued from different locations in Argentina and rehabilitated at the Mundo Marino Foundation due to malnutrition, dehydration, high parasite load and, in some cases, hypothermia, were returned to the sea on the beach of San Clemente del Tuyu, on June 15, 2022.
Mundo Marino/Zenger

Mundo Marino operates in San Clemente, where it also runs Argentina’s largest aquarium.

The heartwarming footage shows some of the rescued penguins before they were treated by animal welfare organisations.

The Magellanic penguins can then be seen undergoing examinations and recovering at Mundo Marino’s facilities, watched by foundation workers before being taken to a beach and released from a cage on the sand.

The seabirds can then be seen waddling timidly in the ocean, encouraged by their human caregivers.

A young girl can be seen saying goodbye as the penguins make their way to the Atlantic Ocean.

The Mundo Marino Foundation said: “Seabirds were rescued between the end of February and the third week of April at different locations in Partido de la Costa and in the towns of Pinamar, Villa Gesell and Reta, a seaside resort in the Party of Tres Arroyos.”

Sergio Rodriguez Heredia, biologist and head of the rescue center at the Mundo Marino Foundation, said: “All these animals that we were able to rehabilitate were rescued with a type of condition that we see very frequently in this species and which is called the stranded penguin syndrome: these are animals that appear alone, thin, dehydrated, parasitized, anemic and hypothermic.

He added: “As with other marine species, these animals absorb water through fish, so if they can’t find food, they become dehydrated.

“Also, in some cases, an abnormal change in their plumage has been added to the mix due to a generalized metabolic imbalance.”

Juan Pablo Loureiro, veterinarian and technical director of the Mundo Marino Foundation, said: “First of all, once they arrived at the rescue center, a stabilization therapy whose objective is to mitigate the negative effects of the disease was venue.

“This is achieved through hydration with fluid therapy and thermal therapy with heat.

“Once stabilized, we take blood and fecal samples and help them regain their weight with liquefied fish formulas until they finally receive whole fish.”

Magellanic penguins released at sea
Twelve Magellanic penguins rescued from different locations in Argentina and rehabilitated at the Mundo Marino Foundation due to malnutrition, dehydration, high parasite load and, in some cases, hypothermia, were returned to the sea on the beach of San Clemente del Tuyu, on June 15, 2022.
Mundo Marino/Zenger

The Mundo Marino statement also said: “It is important to keep in mind that this species has gregarious habits, so it is necessary to form a group with a minimum number of individuals for the reintegration to be successful and for this group resumes its migratory route.”

The foundation explained that before they can be given the green light and released back into the wild, “a second blood sample is taken, the waterproofness of their feathers, their body condition and their behavioral attitudes are checked, in addition to record their morphometric measurements”. “

Loureiro added: “A day or two before reinsertion, we put a subcutaneous microchip in the dorsal region.

“Thanks to a reader, this chip has a code which is associated with the medical file number that the animal had during its rehabilitation in our center.

“If it appears in another geographic location, with a reader, they will be able to determine that this animal was at a rescue center.”

Magellanic penguins released at sea
Twelve Magellanic penguins rescued from different locations in Argentina and rehabilitated at the Mundo Marino Foundation due to malnutrition, dehydration, high parasite load and, in some cases, hypothermia, were returned to the sea on the beach of San Clemente del Tuyu, on June 15, 2022.

The press release also explains: “Their breeding cycle takes place between September and March. After this stage, they change plumage and begin their migratory route between the end of March and the beginning of April, which can reach the latitude of Rio de Janeiro.

“During this annual journey of about six months, they can travel a total of 3,100 miles.

“As for their food, their diet consists of fish like anchovies, sardines and hake; molluscs such as squid and crustaceans such as shrimp.

“The migratory route is linked to the seasonal movement carried out by the anchovy, one of its main prey, which during our winter, after migrating from our Patagonia, spawns on the coasts of Brazil.”

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.

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