Hundreds of dead penguins wash up on Brazil shores

July 20, 2010
Magellanic penguins swim off the coast of Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Hundreds of dead penguins and other sea animals have washed up on Sao Paulo state's shores and scientists are investigating the causes, according to environment officials.

Hundreds of dead penguins and other sea animals have washed up on Sao Paulo state's shores and scientists are investigating the causes, environment officials told Folha Online news agency.

The Institute of Environment and Natural Resources said 530 , numerous other , five dolphins and three giant have been found in the coastal towns of Peruibe, Praia Grande and Itanhaem, with more likely on other nearby beaches.

Sao Paulo University biologists and a wildlife research center are looking into the possible reasons for the animal deaths, the institute said.

Praia Grande authorities have ruled out pollution, saying preliminary investigations point to starvation as the cause.

In this photo released by Aquario Municipal de Peruibe, a dead penguin sits on the sand at Peruibe beach in Sao Paulo state, Brazil, July 17, 2010. Hundreds of penguins that apparently starved to death are washing up on the beaches of Brazil, worrying scientists who are still investigating what's causing them to die.(AP Photo/Aquario Municipal de Peruibe)

The most likely scenario for the penguin deaths is exhaustion and hunger during their long migration from the waters off Argentina's southern Patagonia region, said Andrea Maranho, a veterinarian for the Sea Animal Rehabilitation Center in Praia Grande.

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