Overheated Brazilian Penguins Relocated to California

A group of penguins who settled on the shores of Brazil last year will have to make California their new home.

The birds will be relocated to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where the climate is much cooler than in Brazil. The birds also will be part of a climate change exhibit, a zoo director stated Tuesday.

According to Giselda Candiotto, the president of the rehabilitation zoo in Niteroi, a city close to Rio de Janeiro, the 21 penguins will live in an appropriately acclimatized space created for them.

"They're doing well, really well," she said. "They're going to the First World, with all the best amenities."

The Magellanic penguins arrive in LA. Saturday night and will be in quarantine for a month before being moved to the aquarium in northern California, Candiotto said.

Magellanic penguins normally breed in the chilly waters off the coasts of Argentina and Chile, and don't survive long in Brazil's heat, Candiotto added.

Penguins often wash up along the Brazilian coast, swept northward by strong currents from the Straight of Magellan. In 2008, 700 penguins landed in Brazil, some so exhausted they could barely lift their heads.

"Most of them don't make it," said Candiotto, whose zoo has worked over the years to resettle as many penguins as possible in more appropriate environments.

Two penguins among the group of Magellanic penguins that washed up last year were kept in Brazil because there wasn't enough room at the California aquarium, she said.

"They're keeping each other company, but it's a real pity," she said. "Even in the shade, this weather's hard on them."

Based on reporting by The Associated Press. 

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