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Global warming a concern at Chile's penguin paradise

Magdalena Island, located near Chile's southern tip, is a natural paradise for tens of thousands of penguins who come every year to breed. But global warming could threaten the long-term survival of the species, say experts at the island nature reserve in the Strait of Magellan, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the city of Punta Arenas. The island is home to 22 bird species -- 11 which nest year-round and 11 seasonal visitors -- including the Magellanic penguin.

Two rare baby penguins make their debut at Hungary zoo

Two rare baby penguins, Lila and Gelb, waddled into the spotlight on Friday, making their first public appearance at a zoo in Hungary. The pair born in January belong to a rare species of African penguins, the only ones still found on the continent. The workers at the zoo in Szegad -- about 170 kilometres(105 miles) from Budapest -- have set up areas for the penguin family and both parents are taking part in bringing up the little ones. Lila and Gelb are between 40 to 60 centimetres (16 to 24 inches) long and weigh between two to four kilos (2.2 to 8.8 pounds).

Penguins given 'happy pills' in soaking Britain

After weeks of rain and wind in England, miserable penguins at a marine centre are being fed anti-depressants to cheer them up. The 12 Humboldt penguins at the Sealife Centre in Scarborough, northeast England, were showing signs of stress as they shivered through one of the wettest winters on record. Although the penguins are accustomed to cold weather in their natural habitat of Peru and Chile, the constant rain has come as a shock to them. Keepers noticed they were tending to huddle together for warmth rather than plunging into the water.

Penguins given 'happy pills' in soaking Britain

After weeks of rain and wind in England, miserable penguins at a marine centre in England are being fed anti-depressants to cheer them up. The 12 Humboldt penguins at the Sealife Centre in Scarborough, northeast England, were showing signs of stress as they shivered through one of the wettest winters on record. So it was decided to slip pills into the fish they are fed. Although the penguins are accustomed to cold weather in their natural habitat of Peru and Chile, the constant rain has come as a shock to them.

New Zealand's kiwi probably started out an Aussie

In a finding likely to be a bitter blow for many New Zealanders, researchers have found the country's iconic kiwi bird probably descended from an ancestor that flew in from Australia. Palaeontologist Trevor Worthy of Adelaide's Flinders University said fossilised remains suggested the flightless bird did not evolve from the extinct giant moa, as has long been assumed. Instead, he said an ancestor of the kiwi dating back 20 million years discovered in the South Island was more closely related to another giant flightless bird, the emu, which is still common in Australia.

Cooler climate helped evolution of penguins

Penguins waddled into the book of life around 20 million years ago and diversified thanks to global cooling which opened up Antarctica for habitation, a study said on Wednesday. Scientists led by Sankar Subramanian of Griffith University in Australia sequenced telltale signatures of DNA from the genome of 11 penguin species that are alive today. They compared these stretches to make a "molecular clock" -- a way of calculating how species evolve on the basis of regular mutations in DNA.

Calgary Zoo puts down sick Gentoo penguin; Houdini had severe aspergillosis

CALGARY - Another penguin has died at the Calgary Zoo. Zoo officials say they made the "difficult" decision to euthanize Houdini, a 14-month-old male Gentoo penguin, on Sunday. They say Houdini had been sick for almost a month and a necropsy confirmed he had severe aspergillosis. That's a fungal infection that affects the bird's respiratory system, and officials say it is a common cause of death for penguins in captivity.

Two penguins die at Calgary Zoo; 1 from fungal infection, other from malaria

CALGARY - Two more penguins have died at the Calgary Zoo. The zoo says Eduardo, a male Humboldt penguin, died Sunday of a fungal infection that affects the respiratory system. On Monday, Akemi, a three-year-old gentoo penguin, died from heart failure due to avian malaria. Dr. Doug Whiteside, the zoo's senior veterinarian, says Eduardo failed to respond to treatment that was started when he showed signs of illness on Oct. 5. As for Akemi, the vet says avian malaria is the second-biggest killer of penguins in captivity.

Zebra dies at Calgary Zoo; 2 Humboldt penguins perished earlier this week

CALGARY - A zebra has died at the Calgary Zoo, the third animal to die there this week. One of the zebras which arrived just before the June flood was found dead in the pasture at the zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Centre south of the city on Thursday. The zebra, named Eleanor, was completing a mandatory quarantine period before debuting to the public. A post-mortem has revealed the zebra had a twisted gut — a medical condition that occurs often in horse species and can kill quickly. The zoo had two penguins die this week due to a bacterial infection.

Calgary Zoo loses second penguin in as many days to bacterial infection

CALGARY - A second Humboldt penguin in as many days has died at the Calgary Zoo from what a veterinarian says appears to be a bacterial infection. The zoo says three-year-old Juntos died Tuesday night despite feverish attempts by animal care workers to save the animal. Another three-year-old named Guillermo died on Monday. Both penguins came to the Calgary Zoo from an animal park in Syracuse, N.Y. The Humboldts make their summer home in the outdoor exhibit at the popular Penguin Plunge.
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