More than a thousand juvenile Patagonian penguins have washed up on the northern shores of Brazil this year, for reasons scientists have yet to comprehend fully. Over the weekend, hundreds of the stranded birds were airlifted to the southernmost tip of the country and released into the South Atlantic Ocean, close to their native territory.
The birds were put into crates and flown to Pelotas in a C-130 Hercules Transport Plane, where they were excersised, fed, watered and rested over night. After their overnight stay in Pelotas the penguins were placed back in the crates, lifted onto large trucks, and driven to the beach, where a movable pen had been set up. The Penguins were then herded into the sea.
This weekends flight was the largest penguiin airlift in Brazilian history, but the largest penguin airlift ever took place in 2000, when 10,ooo to 15,000 birds were transported to clean water after a massive oil spill near Cape Town, South Africa.