Thursday, October 9, 2008

Giving Nature a Helping Hand

There is so much bad news in the animal world these days: since 25% of mammals (that includes you btw) are now endanger of extinction, water mammals can't function properly because of noise pollution (whales are dying because of it), wind turbines are killing bats, and tourism is threatening an already delicate Artic and the cute penguins there. BUT there is some good news and I think it's important to celebrate these moments.

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) yesterday in Brazil released 372 penguins back into the wild. From their blog:

Two months ago more than a thousand juvenile penguins washed up on the shores of northeast Brazil in extremely poor condition. Northeast Brazil is much farther north than their usual 'home' range, some of the penguins were found as far north as Natal in Rio Grande do Norte. This type of unusual event appears to be naturally occurring and has been seen two or three times in the last 20 years.

According to penguin researcher, Dr. Dee Boersma, there is a flow of warmer water which has caused the juvenile penguins to keep going north, past their usual range where they are unable to find adequate food. There is always a high mortality rate for first year birds, however traveling farther north and given the lack of available food increased the normal mortality rate for this group of penguins even more. Almost all of the penguins found on the beaches in northeastern Brazil were juveniles; starving and in an extremely debilitated state.

Local wildlife groups were alerted to the condition of these penguins and quickly began rescuing them. Instituto Mamíferos Aquáticos was one of the centers in Brazil who made room for the rescued penguins and offered them rehabilitative care at their center in preparation for release. To date, around 850 penguins were rescued. Sadly, many of the other juvenile penguins died on the beach. ...

IFAW arrived on scene and immediately began advising with respect to working with large numbers of captive penguins and how to institute herd health protocols, basic triage and pre-release evaluations. The overall goal was to help these groups provide the best level of care and to explain how to move the birds through a rehabilitation process in the fastest way possible. This would help to ensure that the birds don't succumb to captivity related problems which will render them non-releasable.

With IFAW's assistance many of the penguins are now ready for release.
After a flight to northern Brazil, the penguins were released as show in the above video. I love how you can see them so eager to get in the water, they're dipping their heads and necks down to meet it long before they've actually reached the water.

But why does this make me so happy, besides getting to watch cute penguins? It makes me happy to see people taking on the responsibility to care for nature instead of just seeing it as a resource to be exploited. How much more f*cked up is our society and health and planet going to have to be before we all realize that we can't out-smart nature. Every single thing we do on this planet, we're held accountable for in one way or another - and we're certainly being held accountable now for generations of reckless behaviors that poisoned our land, air and water and ourselves.

You're a part of the natural system here on planet Earth and no matter how you may rage about it, that's not gonna ever change.

Related posts:
When Pigs Ruled the Earth!
This is a True Story
My Vision of the Future

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1 comment:

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