Penguin swims ashore in Peru

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Magellanic Penguin near Punta Arenas, Chile, photographed in its natural summer habitat.

A Magellanic Penguin, who normally makes its home off the coast of Chile where the Pacific Ocean waters are cold, has taken a small vacation on the coast of Peru, an event that has never happened before in the country.

According to scientists, the penguin was looking for food when it got lost in the ocean currents off Peru's coast. It is reported that the penguin swam nearly 3,100 miles [5,000 kilometers] off course.

"It seems he was disoriented and got lost in the sea due to the different ocean currents. In his endless search for food, he casually climbed up on our shores, something that has never happened before," said the head of the National Paracas Reserve in Peru, Wilder Canales.

For the moment, the penguin will stay at the reserve, in its natural habitat until researchers can coordinate for the penguin's release with officials in Chile. The penguin also required a small injury to be fixed that he received from a fishing net during his travels.

"It has not been kept in a cage or anything like that. It has been kept where it can live naturally," said David Orosco, a biologist at the reserve.

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