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Gunter the penguin rescued a long way from home

“Found a penguin!! Need Help!”

Not your everyday internet post, but one that prompted thousands of comments from Reddit users, many trying to help a woman figure out what to do with the lost little penguin that washed up on the beach.

On Tuesday, the mother’s kids found a penguin washed ashore in Bahia, Brazil. By Wednesday a biologist with ICMBio arrived to pick up the newly named Gunter.

Gunter is a Magellanic penguin, and they can sometimes be found as far north as Rio de Janeiro, which is 730 kilometers away from the Brazil location.

In 2007, the BBC reported that a confused Magellanic penguin strayed 5,000 kilometers from its Chilean climate.

The post stated that Gunter didn’t seem to be feeling too well, and various advice was offered on how to help stabilize it until biologists or wildlife agencies came to fetch the penguin.  

The biologist said that Gunter actually fared the mishap pretty well, although he has a lot of rehabilitation ahead. She said that “it fills my heart with joy being able to do this, because for each 10 we help, 200 more died on the beaches.”

The New York Times, in 2008, featured the work of biologist P. Dee Boersma, who stated that climate change is affecting this breed.  Boersma said that the penguins have to swim about 40 miles farther from their nests while hunting than they did 10 years ago.

The biologist said Gunter is in great shape, with nothing broken and he looks well. She was happy to see him fighting her when she picked him up. Gunter will be paired with a companion in rehabilitation.

First he will receive emergency care so he can get back on his feet and feel better, at ICMBio in Prado. Then he will be moved to a center in Eunapolis with more penguins and better care.

Eventually Gunter, and other rehabilitated penguins will be released into the ocean from Rio Grande do Sul, the main center in Brazil.

And then hopefully he will swim home to Chile.

So remember, if you ever find a penguin, soliciting advice is exactly what the internet is for; and don’t forget to post cute photos.

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