Triumph Over Adversity...

I used to vacation at a beach where there was a penguin preserve. A few years before the flock was nearly extinct. As a result of aggressive conservation, the cape jackass penguins are alive and doing well. There are so many penguins on the beach, there's almost no place for the people. 


So in this case, the penguins won!


here's the story from wikipedia: 



Of the 1.5-million African Penguin population estimated in 1910, only some 10% remained at the end of the 20th-century. The uncontrolled harvesting of penguin eggs as a source of food, disruption of habitat by guano scraping, nearly drove the species to extinction.

As recently as the mid-twentieth century, penguin eggs were considered a delicacy and were still being collected for sale. Unfortunately, the practice was to smash eggs found a few days prior to gathering, to ensure that only fresh ones were sold. This added to the drastic decline of the penguin population around the Cape coast, a decline which was hastened by the removal of guano from islands for use as fertilizer, eliminating the burrowing material used by penguins. Penguins remain susceptible to pollution of their habitat by petrochemicals from spills, shipwrecks and cleaning of tankers while at sea.

Disaster struck on 23 June 2000, when the iron ore tanker MV Treasure sank between Robben Island andDassen Island, South Africa, oiling 19,000 adult penguins at the height of the best breeding season on record for this vulnerable species. The oiled birds were brought to an abandoned train repair warehouse inCape Town to be cared for. An additional 19,500 un-oiled penguins were removed from Dassen Island and other areas before they became oiled, and were released about a thousand kilometres east of Cape Town, near Port Elizabeth. This gave workers enough time to clean up the oiled waters and shores before the birds could complete their long swim home (which took the penguins between 2 and 3 weeks). Some of the penguins were named and radio-tracked as they swam back to their breeding grounds. Tens of thousands of volunteers descended upon Cape Town to help with the rescue and rehabilitation process, which was overseen by IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) and the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), and took more than three months to complete. Although this was the largest animal rescue event in history, more than 91% of the penguins were successfully rehabilitated and released - an amazing feat that could not have been accomplished without such a tremendous international response.[1]

penguinswon penguinswon
3 Responses Aug 21, 2009

Oh my gosh...I wouldn't be able to take all the cuteness if a penguin got too close! Awwww!

there I was sitting on the beach, and this penguin waddles by, stops and looks up at the multi-colored umbrella I was sitting under. It stood there for a minute or two, just staring.... then it waddled off... the coolest thing I have ever seen.

Cool. I love penguins.