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The Greatest Bird Rescue Ever
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38,000 Penguins Displaced by Oil Spill


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2:00 minutes (1.61 MB)
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The Greatest Bird Rescue Ever

On June 23, 2000, an enormous iron ore tanker sank off the coast of South Africa, near a critical nesting site for African Penguins, covering 19,000 adult penguins in oil. Fortunately, thousands of volunteers arrived to help. The oily birds were moved to Cape Town to be cleaned. Another 19,500 penguins that had so far escaped the oil were released at sea, 600 miles to the east. It took those birds nearly three weeks to swim back home, allowing workers time to clean up the oil-fouled waters and beaches. Learn more.

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