Around 50 blue penguins were released into the wild this week. The birds were rescued in earlier weeks following an oil spill.
The birds were released at Mount Maunganui this morning after being nursed back to health at a New Zealand wildlife center. According to the Associated Press, the penguins were nursed to health at a wildlife facility manned by specialists from New Zealand, Australia and the United States.
Reportedly, all the birds were tagged and will be monitored for the next year.
According to stuff.co.nz, they’re the first of around 340 birds to be returned to their habitats after being coated with oil last month.
The Rena had spilled over 300 tons of oil into the ocean in a few days after being grounded on the Astrolabe Reef off the coast of New Zealand—-Some 20,000 birds died as a result of the spill, Stuff.co.nz reported.
It was important to release the birds as soon as possible. Wildlife Response Manager Kerri Morgan says it’s important wild penguins do not remain in captivity for too long because they can develop injuries and illnesses, the Associated Press reported.
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