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The penguin found itself 3000 km from home

Wed sample of a species of penguin that lives only in Antarctica found On a beach in central New Zealand, at least 3,000 kilometers from its natural habitat. It is not yet known how and why the Pingu – the name given to it by the inhabitants of the region – came to make this long journey: sightings of this species in New Zealand are very rare, but according to scientists it could be a symptom of even more changes – in the depths of ocean ecosystems.

Pingu was spotted by a couple strolling on the beach just south of Christchurch on New Zealand’s east coast. Harry Singh, one of the two people who found him, . said BBC He initially thought it was a stuffed animal: “But then all of a sudden he moved his head and I realized it was true.”

Singh said Pingu had not moved for an hour and looked very tired, so he considered heading to a center in Christchurch that deals with penguins (some species live in New Zealand), also to avoid being attacked. by dogs or other animals.

Center experts contacted by Singh immediately realized that it was an Adélie penguin specimen.Pygoscelis adeliae). The animal was very underweight and dehydrated, but in general it was fine: after some tests, it was left on a beach on the Banks Peninsula, about ten kilometers from where it was found, from which it was hoped it would find its way home. .

Pingu is the third sighting of the Adélie penguin known in New Zealand: two more specimens were found, respectively, in 1962 and 1993, again on the country’s east coast. Cases like this are very rare, but experts say they could happen more frequently in the future due to climate change.

Philip Seddon Moore, Professor of Zoology at the University of Otago, Al . said guardian Perhaps the Bingo was a small penguin, which swept the ocean currents into New Zealand after moving so far from Antarctica. Seddon added that although there is an Adélie penguin at the moment, it is fairly stableHowever, any frequent changes in their behavior could be signs of a crisis in the ecosystem in which they live.

“All kinds of penguins are like sea rangers,” Seddon said. “When they’re sick, they give us early signals—like canaries in the mines—early signs that things aren’t going well.”

– Read also: Help is needed to count walruses from above

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Harold Manning

"Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover."

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