Five penguins found stranded in Brazil have found a new home at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Magellanic penguins normally are found in extreme southern regions of South America, but these somehow ended up on a beach in Rio de Janeiro -- a phenomenon that's happening more and more in Brazil, where hundreds are being found stranded far north of their usual habitat, the Aquarium says.
“You don’t normally find these penguins much farther north than the Falkland Islands," said Dudley Wigdahl, Aquarium of the Pacific curator of marine mammals and birds, in a statement. "The locations of their food sources are changing perhaps due to climate change, and penguins are having to travel farther in search of food.” The penguins feed on small fish.
Although some stranded penguins are able to return to the wild, those with health issues are not. “When these penguins stranded in Rio, they were frail and emaciated after such a long swim up the Atlantic coast of South America," said Wigdahl. "We’re happy to be able to provide a home and medical care for these unreleasable animals.”
The quintet is expected to take up residence in a new Aquarium exhibit -- the June Keyes Penguin Habitat -- when it opens in Summer 2010. But until then they'll live in the Aquarium’s behind-the-scenes holding area.