Oiled Penguins Go Free


Little blue penguin.: Credit: Noodle snacks via Wikimedia Commons.Little blue penguin Noodle snacks via Wikimedia Commons.

Forty-nine of 343 little blue penguins rescued from the oil spill off the New Zealand coast were released back into the ocean yesterday—with more to come in the next few weeks, says Maritime New Zealand.

At least 2,008 birds died.

When Rena grounded on October 5, it contained 1,712 tons of oil. About 360 tons spilled into the ocean. The 1,319 tons remaining were removed under really tough conditions by November 13. Kudos to the salvors.

 

The freed penguins were released into the Bay of Plenty with hopes they’ll make their way back to their breeding rookery on Rabbit Island.

Bonne chance, little dudes. 

  • Julia Whitty is the environmental correspondent for Mother Jones. Her latest book is Deep Blue Home: An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean. For more of her stories, click here.

Members like you

Mother Jones is a nonprofit, and stories like this are made possible by readers like you. or to help fund independent journalism.