The first treated penguins walk back to their home (Katrine Herian/The RSPB)
The first 24 penguins of more than 3,600 admitted to the “rehab centre” on Tristan da Cunha after the oil spill around Nightingale Island have been released back to sea.
“The penguins were selected from the strongest ones, with no visible oil on their outer plumage,” reports Trevor Glass Tristan da Cunha Conservation Officer. “Of the many tested to see if they were ready for release, only 24 had perfectly waterproof plumage.”
“It was an emotional moment to see these penguins released from captivity and walk into the sea and then swim off among the waves,” said Katrine Herian, the RSPB Project Officer on Tristan da Cunha. “The Tristan islanders are putting hundreds of hours of their time into saving the oiled penguins and we hope these are the first of many to be released”.