Forget Snakes: Penguins Get Their Plane Ride
Flightless birds fly home with a little help from Brazil
By Michael Roston,  Newser User
Posted Oct 7, 2008 5:25 PM CDT
A penguin swims near Praia do Forte beach, in Cabo Frio, Brazil, on July 22, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The wayward penguins marooned on Brazil's beaches got a one-way ticket home over the weekend, but ferrying hundreds of birds 2,000 miles is no simple feat, explains Nina Shen Rastogi in Slate. After being fed and tagged, 399 Magellanic penguins were crated and loaded aboard an Air Force plane for a journey to southern Atlantic waters, with military personnel, veterinarians, and biologists in tow.

The trip south turned out easier than the voyage to Brazil: while hundreds washed ashore dead, all survived the journey home.  But the adventure isn't over. Officials held 100 birds back after an inspection that “involved checking their weight and the condition of their lungs, mouth, feet, and eyes as well as making sure their feather covers were still waterproof.”