2,000 penguins found dead on Uruguayan beach

Nearly two thousand penguins were found dead in ten days along Uruguay’s eastern coast, the cause of the massacre still unexplained. These Magellanic penguins, most of them young, died in the Atlantic Ocean before being brought by currents to the shores of the departments of Canelones, Maldonado and Rocha (south and southeast), explained to Agence France-Presse (AFP) Carmen Leizagoyen, responsible for wildlife issues in the environment of Uruguay.

According to her, “Young models without 90% fat reserves and on an empty stomach”. He added that the tests carried out to detect the presence of bird flu were negative. This species of penguin nests in southern Argentina, migrates north in search of warmer waters during the southern winter, and can reach the coast of the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo (southeast).

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A dead penguin washed up on a beach in Uruguay's La Rocha region on July 20.

“It is normal for a certain percentage of people to die, but not many”said M.me Leesagoyan recalled a similar massacre in Brazil last year, again for an unknown reason.

Hector Camaris, director of Rocha’s protected lagoon, assured AFP that he had counted more than 500 dead penguins along 10 kilometers of beach. Conservationists blame overfishing and illegal fishing for the Magellanic penguin’s demise. “From the 1990s and 2000s we started seeing animals without food.”AFP mourns Richard Tessor, NGO SOS Marine Wildlife Rescue, underlines “Overexploitation” Marine resources.

According to him, the hurricane that appeared in the Atlantic, which hit the southeast of Brazil in mid-July, led to the death of the most vulnerable people due to bad weather conditions. Mr Tesor says he has found penguins, albatrosses, sea urchins, sea turtles and sea lions on Maldonado Beach, east of Uruguay’s capital Montevideo.

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