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Airlift of the penguins

October 07, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

More than 370 penguins that mysteriously washed up on Brazil's equatorial beaches were flown south on a huge air force cargo plane and released closer to the frigid waters they call home, advocates said.

Onlookers cheered as the young Magellanic penguins were set free on a beach in southern Brazil and scampered into the ocean, the International Fund for Animal Welfare said in a statement. It called the penguin release the largest in South America.

The penguins were among nearly 1,000 that have washed up on Brazil's northeastern coast in recent months, said group spokesman Chris Cutter. About 20% died and the rest were not healthy enough to send back.

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