Twelve Magellanic penguins returned home on Wednesday after being rescued and rehabilitated by the Mundo Marino aquarium in Argentina. The same aquarium has the orca Kshamenk, bottlenose dolphins and other animals living in captivity for entertainment purposes.
On their website Mundo Marino said that they rescued Kshamenk, but according to animal welfare organization Dolphin Project “Mundo Marino had been known to force animals into stranding situations in order to capture them for display.”
“Kshamenk seems to have been forgotten by the world, and the media that helped create the “Blackfish” effect. His tank is sterile and so small he can swim 500 laps around its circumference in just one hour,” Dolphin Project said, adding that they want the aquarium to find a sanctuary for the orca.
The twelve penguins, who were rescued by Mundo Marino between February and April, showed signs of dehydration, malnutrition, parasites and even hypothermia due to a lack of feathers.
“The possible cause of these pathologies could be climate change, food scarcity and environmental pollution,” Juan Pablo Loureiro, technical director at Mundo Marino Foundation, said.
Magellanic penguins are South American penguins found in Argentina, Chile, the Falkland Islands, and sometimes in Brazil and Uruguay. They are medium-sized penguins who are 61–76 cm (24–30 in) tall and weigh between 2.7 and 6.5 kg (6.0 and 14.3 lb).