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ON JUNE 23, 2000, the iron-ore carrier MV Treasure, en route from Brazil to China, foundered off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, spilling 1,300 tons of oil into the ocean and contaminating the habitat of 75,000 penguins.

Realizing that 42 percent of the world’s population of African penguins could perish, local conservation officials immediately launched a massive rescue operation, and 12,500 volunteers from around the globe rushed to South Africa in hopes of saving the imperiled birds.

Serving as a rehabilitation manager during the initial phase of the three-month rescue effort, Dyan deNapoli—better known as "the Penguin Lady" for her extensive work with penguins—and fellow volunteers de-oiled, nursed back to health, and released into the wild nearly all of the affected birds.

Now, at the tenth anniversary of the disaster, deNapoli recounts this extraordinary true story of the world’s largest and most successful wildlife rescue. When she first entered the enormous warehouse housing most of the 19,000 oiled penguins, the birds’ total silence told deNapoli all she needed to know about the extent of their trauma.

African penguins are very vocal by nature, prone to extended fits of raucous, competitive braying during territorial displays and pair-bonding rituals, but these poor creatures now stood silently, shoulder to shoulder, in a state of shock. DeNapoli vividly details the harrowing rescue process and the heartbreaking scenarios she came up against alongside thousands of volunteers: unforgettable images of them laboriously scrubbing the oil from every penguin feather and force-feeding each individually; the excruciatingly painful penguin bites every volunteer received; and the wrenching decisions about birds too ill to survive.

In addition to her book tour for The Great Penguin Rescue, Dyan is making appearances again in schools, colleges, libraries, museums and senior centers. Dyan is also available for appearances by Skype. If you are interested in having The Penguin Lady present a program about her book or about penguin biology, behavior and conservation to your group, please complete the enquiry form.

Ages:

College, Elementary School, High School, Kindergarten, Middle School, Nursery, Prekindergarten, Preschool

Locations:

Alabama AL, Alaska AK, Arizona AZ, Arkansas AR, California CA, Colorado CO, Connecticut CT, Delaware DE, Florida FL, Georgia GA, Hawaii HI, Idaho ID, Illinois IL, Indiana IN, Iowa IA, Kansas KS, Kentucky KY, Louisiana LA, Maine ME, Maryland MD, Massachusetts MA, Michigan MI, Minnesota MN, Mississippi MS, Missouri MO, Montana MT, Nebraska NE, Nevada NV, New Hampshire NH, New Jersey NJ, New Mexico NM, New York NY, North Carolina NC, North Dakota ND, Ohio OH, Oklahoma OK, Oregon OR, Pennsylvania PA, Rhode Island RI, South Carolina SC, South Dakota SD, Tennessee TN, Texas TX, Utah UT, Vermont VT, Virginia VA, Washington WA, West Virginia WV, Wisconsin WI, Wyoming WY

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