... in penguins

Penguins in Rio - update

18 Sep 2006 | 579 words | migration penguins rio argentina climate cange

When i was in Argentinean Patagonia in January our host at the Estancia Monte Leon (by the way one of the most gorgeous places i have ever stayed in my life, totally worth the hefty price tag) told us that the penguins who hang out at the beach there in order to raise their kids would go all the way up to Rio in the (southern hemisphere) winter as they find patagonia to cold during that time of the year.

While i can see that Patagonia might be a little bit too cold in July i could not really picture penguins in Rio. Also i did not run into any Spheniscus Magellanicus down there (but then that is probably due to the fact that we did nose around in all the wrong places). A couple of days ago i ran into more anecdotal evidence that there are indeed penguins in Rio. This time in the form of someone blogging about migrants being washed up at the beaches of the canaries and penguins in Rio (which as the alert reader will notice are both subjects that have kept me busy in the past):

Penguins in Rio, abnormal concentrations of jellyfish in the Mediterranean coast, giant crabs invading Norway’s waters, Sub-Saharan immigrants stranding at the beaches of Canary islands in unhuman conditions surprising tourists… Nature claims… something is wrong with our world today… (from: extremo occidente

Seems like the author wishes to imply that the world is a bit out of control which does not seem totally wrong of an observation if you ask me.

update to the update: Looks like i should do my google reserach first. seems like while we did indeed see no penguins in Rio they have been there this summer. CBS reports that at least 135 showed up on the local beaches and are now being airlifted back to the southern Atlantic ocean in a heroic joint operation by the brazilian armed forces:

A Hercules C-130 transport airplane will take the flightless birds to Pelotas in southern Brazil on Sept. 23 for the first leg of their journey home, the Air Force’s press office said. There, they will be examined by veterinarians at the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center of the Eliezer de Carvalho Rios Oceanographic Museum. From Pelotas, the penguins will be driven to the coast and placed on Navy ships. They will be taken 40 miles offshore before being released into the southern Atlantic. “Ocean currents will hopefully carry them back to their natural habitat,” Candiotto said. “If everything goes smoothly, the penguins should be back in Antarctica within 10 days after leaving Rio.”

According to the Guardian, Rio became a popular destination for penguins in 2001 or so. in that year they published a first article on penguins in rio and linked it to global warming (isn’t it refreshing to see that in the summer of 2001 the press could still explain strange things in other ways than blaming terrorists for them?). The article does contain absolute gems on how ordinary brazilians behave when suddenly confronted with penguins on their doorstep:

… some are being kept as pets by Brazilian fishermen, who feed them sardines and even walk them on a leash. [.. but also one would not expect] how many people put these penguins in freezers when they rescue them …

Regardless of this update the conclusion remains more or less the same. the world seems to be a bit out of control.

Vicious penguins

31 Oct 2005 | 285 words | public transport travel sao paulo food penguins

For some reason the hotel staff got the reservation a bit wrong and though that Monica, Vishwas and me are all called monica. at least they started addressing us like this when we checked in yesterday night. This already reminded me of the penguins in madagascar, but things got even more Madagascar-like a bit later. We had inquired about a japanese restaurant that would be open on a sunday night (which given how serious they take their sundays here is a bit of a difficult thing to find) which resulted in one of the ladies from the reception volunteering to walk us to one near Avenida Paulista that according to a friend of hers would be definitely open.

Now it is quite a trip to go from downtown to Paulista by subway (it involves changing lines twice) and a bit strange to be accompanied by someone from your hotel reception on high heels who is apparently eager to brush up her english by chatting to us. As one could have predicted the restaurant was closed and by the time we got back (t(stay) = 0 in this case but the rest of the equation being confirmed once more due to the fact that we took a cab on the way back) even the most reliable downtown restaurants were closed as well so we ended up in the hotel restaurant which managed to makes us wait for pasta for about one and a half hours. The whole hotel staff definitely resembles the slightly evil madagascar penguins a lot:

Completely unrelated i was wondering the other day if the vicious character of the penguins in madagascar is part of a secret plot by hollywood to discredit tux

meanwhile... is the personal weblog of Paul Keller. I am currently policy director at Open Future and President of the COMMUNIA Association for the Public Domain. This weblog is largely inactive but contains an archive of posts (mixing both work and personal) going back to 2005.

I also maintain a collection of cards from African mediums (which is the reason for the domain name), a collection of photos on flickr and a website collecting my professional writings and appearances.

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