Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hundreds of Penguins found Dead in Brazil

According to Yahoo news, more than 400 penguins, most of them young, have been found dead on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, over the past two months. These penguins were swept by ocean currents from the icy shores of Antarctica and Patagonia. Though this is a common scene in the years, this year's number has shocked animal lovers.

Eduardo Pimenta, superintendent for the state coastal protection and environment agency in the resort city of Cabo Frio thinks that pollution is the main cause of this situation. The state's zoo has already received about 100 penguins for treatment this year and many of them are drenched in petroleum. On the other hand, Thiago Muniz, a veterinarian at the Niteroi Zoo believes that overfishing has forced the penguins to swim further from shore to find fish to eat and it leaves them more vulnerable to getting caught up in the strong ocean currents.

But biologist Erli Costa of Rio de Janeiro's Federal University thinks that weather patterns could be involved in the mass death of penguins. "I think instead we're seeing more young and sick penguins because of global warming, which affects ocean currents and creates more cyclones, making the seas rougher," he said. YAHOO!