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Last Updated: Friday, 11 May 2007, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Confused penguin strays 5,000km
A Magellanic penguin
The penguin appears to have become somewhat confused
A Magellanic penguin whose natural habitat is the cool climes of southern Chile has strayed thousands of miles from his home, arriving in Peru.

The penguin, native to the Strait of Magellan region of Chile, swam all the way to Peru's Paracas national reserve.

Scientists say the bird appeared to have made the 5,000km (3,000-mile) journey alone.

They say the penguin must have "got off course" to end up just 14 degrees south of the equator.

Discrimination

Scientists say they fear that the solitary Magellanic penguin may not be accepted by some of the area's 4,000 Humboldt penguins.

Map showing location of Paracas National Reserve

Biologist David Orosco told AFP news agency that the native birds may even try to reject the penguin.

"Conditions in the park are not the ones it is used to. They usually seek out their own species, and it could suffer discrimination," Mr Orosco said.

The penguin, found by a fisherman, managed the epic journey suffering only a small wound on its wing.

Mr Orosco said he was trying to contact colleagues in the penguin's home country.

"It would be better for it to go to Chile," he said.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The penguin is being nursed back to health



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