After all the bad oil spill news that we’ve featured on this blog in recent months, your SEANET blogger wants to share some relatively good news. A new book by Dyan DeNapoli chronicles the rescue and rehabiliation of 40,ooo or so penguins. DeNapoli was penguin aquarist at the New England Aquarium when an oil spill hit the South African coast in 2000. She immediately volunteered to fly to the site and offer her rare expertise on penguin care and handling.
A recent review states,
“The book opens with deNapoli’s arrival at the enormous warehouse in the heart of Cape Town that served as an improvised penguin rescuecenter. It covered over five acres, and inside were 16,000 soiled, mute, and traumatized African penguins, each of which would require many weeks of rehabilitation if it were to have a chance at survival. They had all, she later wrote, been “ripped from their nests, their mates, and their chicks, then tossed haphazardly into random holding pens.” The cause of their misery was a relatively small oil spill of around 1,500 tons. But the size of the spill is no guide to its impact on seabirds.”
Sounds like a good read to me, and might offer a hopeful persepctive to those of us despairing of seabirds’ chances in the face of the human juggernaut.