Read The Great Penguin Rescue: 40,000 Penguins, a Devastating Oil spill and the Inspiring Story of the World's Largest Animal Rescue by Dyan deNapoli Online


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 thJuneat 41 percent of the world’s population of African penguins could perish, local conservation officials immediately launched a massivON 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 thJuneat 41 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. She draws readers headfirst into the exhausting physical and emotional experience and brings to life the cast of remarkable characters—from Big Mike, a compassionate Jiu-Jitsu champion with a booming voice, who worked every day of the rescue effort; to a man named Welcome, aka "the Penguin Whisperer," who had the amazing ability to calm any penguin he held in his arms; to Louis, a seventeen-year-old medical student who created a new formula for the highly effective degreaser used by the rescue mission—whose historic and heroic efforts saved the birds from near extinction. The extraordinary international collaboration of scientists, zookeepers, animal rescue groups, and thousands of concerned individuals helped save the African penguins—recently declared an endangered species—from an all-too-common man-made disaster.DeNapoli’s heartwarming and riveting story is not just a portrait of these captivating birds, nor is it merely a cautionary tale about the environment. It is also an inspirational chronicle of how following one’s passion can lead to unexpected, rewarding adventures—and illustrates not only how people from around the world can unite for a greater purpose, but how they can be extraordinarily successful when doing so. The Great Penguin Rescue will inspire readers to believe they can make a difference...

Title : The Great Penguin Rescue: 40,000 Penguins, a Devastating Oil spill and the Inspiring Story of the World's Largest Animal Rescue
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781439148174
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Great Penguin Rescue: 40,000 Penguins, a Devastating Oil spill and the Inspiring Story of the World's Largest Animal Rescue Reviews

  • Lynn Pribus
    2019-03-22 07:44

    A look at a penguin rescue off the coast of South Africa that really changed my knowledge. I'd sort of thought penquins were cleaned off and that was it. Far from it. Nearly 40K "oiled penguins" were kept for weeks in two huge warehouses. These were frightened, suspicious, cranky birds with Very Sharp Beaks and every day they had to be force fed (thawed fish poked down their throats) and "swum" in plastic pools that could hold a limited number after which each pool had to be cleaned and refilled for the next group.In the meanwhile, their habitat was being cleansed. TWELVE THOUSAND volunteers, mostly from S Africa, but some from around the world at their own expense, served over the months the birds were being gradually cleaned which is a lengthy process after which they are tested for waterproofness which is dependent on the condition of their feathers. Some flunk and must be recleaned later.Finally the clean birds are marked with hot pink temporary dye on their chests and released in small groups of a couple hundred at a time. With the thousands still being cared for, it was a slow process.The author laments the huge number of wrecks -- some dating back to WWII -- that are rusting on the ocean floor and gradually releasing oil. Sometimes this is is substantial quantities. She has organized herself as The Penguin Lady and her mission is educating the public about the dangerous decline in penguin populations. I listened to the book, so checked out Google images to see the pink-spotted penguins, the holding pools, etc. which added to understanding and enjoyment of the book.

  • Lacy
    2019-03-28 01:10

    What an extraordinary story of overcoming the odds and saving the lives of the already threatened African Penguins from certain death! It is also a tale of people coming together when they are needed most and stepping up to really surprise everyone and reinstate some faith in mankind. In addition, I learned that penguins are fascinating animals and I really knew very little about them before reading this book. That said, the writing of this story could have been a little more precise and refined. I came away from reading it with the impression that the author had tried to "beef up" the text by repeating herself and using the same expressions again and again. I didn't like the drawn out dramatic interactions and felt the writing could have been more consistent and efficient.Overall, I liked this book and would recommend it for anyone with an interest in penguins, wildlife rehabilitation, oil disasters or the well being of the world's oceans.

  • Jenny Spotten
    2019-04-15 23:49

    This book is both extremely depressing (oil spills and suffering animals) and uplifting (successful rehabs and community spirit). I learned a lot about penguins and the horrible reality of how commonplace oil spills are, especially in South Africa. But I really hated how disjointed the story was. One minute we're in the midst of the rescue effort. The next chapter is back in a US zoo. Next, penguin rehab. Next, oil spill history. All interesting but hard to follow and stay present in the actual Treasure story.

  • Beth
    2019-03-26 06:55

    It was interesting and I learned a lot about penguins that I didn't previously know, but I felt like the book probably could have been half as long as it was. It seemed like there was a lot of repeating throughout the book that could have been edited out.

  • Sandra
    2019-04-08 00:01

    I struggled with this rating. Unfortunately, as a book for reading pleasure, I would rate it much lower - 2, or maybe even 1 star. It is way too repetitive - I can't even express how much so.However, the story itself and the penguin facts and the information on rescue organizations and aquariums and all that it contains is important and interesting. There were a number of personal human interest type bits that had me tearing up, or laughing. Plus, the author seems to be a pretty amazing woman pursuing her passion and giving so much to the penguins that desperately need it.It's a shame that with better editing I think this could have been a powerful and amazing book, but as it stands I found myself skimming parts because I was reading the same thing for the fourth or fifth time. I might have given up all together had I not been reading this for book club/work. But I believe this is an important topic, and a pretty remarkable story.

  • Gabriel Valjan
    2019-04-04 06:12

    I had the pleasure of meeting the author, Dyan deNapoli, at the 2014 New England Author Expo. I mention this because her passion for penguins is sincere. She is called The Penguin Lady for a reason.I read my signed book in one sitting a day after meeting her. I will say this: the journey she conveys is in the tradition of the best scientific writing (E.O. Wilson) and brings her personal interest in the plight of the South African penguins to the interested reading public. What other reviewers fail to mention is that the Treasure Hunt oil spill in 2000 was but the second catastrophic oil spill in the region. Some of the penguins were veterans of two oil disasters. Dyan, a penguin expert at the New England Aquarium, was called in to join marine wildlife experts from around the world. She had no idea of the magnitude of the horror that she would encounter at the scene. The reader learns that penguins are usually very vocal birds (and territorial, with razor-sharp beaks), but when she entered the warehouse where they were kept, there was an ominous silence. Step-by-step she retells what the team did, what the thousands of heroic volunteers had to do for these birds. There is heartbreak: some birds died not from the spill, but from the transportation in crates in truck overland. Volunteers hand-washed the birds. It took an hour or more per bird, so multiply that times thousands of birds to understand the volunteer hours – and the scars from the birds. It is inspiring to know that so many people from around the world came together for these birds. One can only wonder what could be accomplished if people did this for other people. I was very impressed when I read that it was a bright 17-year old boy who invented the special soap to degrease the penguins. I hope that someone gave him a scholarship or a job. The world needs young people like him. The Great Penguin Rescue also reads like an adventure-drama. Against all odds, the scientists, for reasons explained in the book, had to tag three penguins, not knowing if they would make it. Pamela, Peter, and Percy would swim 500+ miles back to their home island, Dassen Island, within 22 days. The birds were saved, after a lot of ups and downs, but the overall, uplifting lesson is that people together can accomplish so much.

  • Lisa Shea
    2019-03-27 05:50

    When my copy of The Great Penguin Rescue arrived in the mail I sat down with it at dinner expecting to read a chapter or two while I ate, then go back to work. I ended up reading the entire book straight through. I just couldn't put it down. From the very beginning the book had me hooked, and I wanted to know every detail about this amazing set of circumstances and the people involved.Penguins are in trouble around the globe, and the catastrophic oil spill in 2000 right in the middle of a pair of breeding colonies caused world-wide alarm. Within days the call went out to penguin experts everywhere to come in and help. Dyan deNapoli was one of those who answered the call. She was plunged into a situation unlike any that had been seen before. Giant warehouses of scared, oil-coated penguins had to be evaluated, hand fed, and cleaned. The volunteers had to handle razor-sharp beaks, exhausting hours, and sickening stench. They fought through it all, knowing the species' survival could be at stake.Dyan does an amazing job of helping the reader be there in the moment with her. My eyes welled with tears at many points as I read about the things the people and penguins went through. The rescuers didn't know if this effort would work or not. They could only do their best and pray things worked out.The book makes you realize that each one of us can make a difference if we follow our dreams and focus on our goals. The people rescuing the penguins were often housewives and office workers, donating their time and efforts to clean the penguin tanks, cut up the fish, and do the many other tasks necessary to keep the rescue center going. Every one of those people helped to make the rescue a success. Each of us has that power, to use our time to make the world a better place.Highly recommended.

  • Trynity
    2019-04-10 01:57

    Updating my review, as I completed reading this, and thought it offered amazing insight into this unappreciated aquatic species. Dyan's story never comes across as 'preachy' or overly laden with pure facts. Instead, she sheds a new light into these flightless marvels, and reveals just how "un-cuddly they truly are" (breaking the whole "Happy Feet" ideaology that penguins would be enjoyable to snuggle with). The 1st pages really engage the reader and it never loses momentum. Even during the difficult parts, when their volunteer workers had to quickly assess which chicks they would be able to save. You cannot help but feel alarmed, ashamed, sad, scared, and hopeful when you learn about the plight these sea denizens faced. I almost could smell the horrific odor of the guano and feel the sting of the sharp, quick beaks, which lacerated Dyan and company. I not only recommend this book to anyone, not just to spread awareness, but to gain an insight into the lives of those who have dedicated themselves to helping the helpless animals, but i would hope that this would be listed as recommended reading for schools as well. Thank you for choosing me as a winner, GoodReads & Dyan.

  • Brooke
    2019-04-04 00:49

    Great story, but did not like the editing. The story was not told in a linear fashion, which can sometimes work, but in this case was too scattered. Numbers, facts and figures were thrown around constantly and inconsistently. People were introduced first by a first name only, then in a later chapter a first name, last name and organization or role were noted, making the reader wonder if this was the same person or a different one. The author couldn't seem to find the right mix between an emotional memoir and a scientific paper, which are not mutually exclusive, but did not blend well here.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-07 04:43

    Reading this book was both emotional and uplifting. I really enjoyed hearing about all of the wonderful people who came together to work with these penguins. Hearing the author talk about some of the key volunteers was very endearing.I think another good pass at editing would've tightened up the story a bit -- some of the aspects were repeated multiple times and didn't really need to be. Overall, a good book that provided insight into a terrible situation that could've been so much worse without the passion and dedication of so many people.

  • Leilani
    2019-04-20 03:12

    I delayed reading this because I thought it would just be depressing, but that wasn't true. The information about how the birds were rescued, how the massive effort was organized and all the different work that was involved, and how the unoiled birds were sent away to swim home, giving the oil spill time to disperse, was fascinating. The volunteers got just the right amount of focus too, and the parts describing how so many people showed up to help the penguins really do make you feel more hopeful about people. Very inspiring, with lots of useful information at the end.

  • D Hemstad
    2019-03-31 03:57

    amazing the dedication of all and learning about the traumatic stress that hits them when they go home

  • Kristy McCaffrey
    2019-04-10 23:52

    A wonderful book about a tragic disaster--the oiling of thousands of penguins off the South African coast.

  • Kimberly
    2019-03-26 05:08

    [image error]African "Jackass" "Donkey" PenguinFirst off I have to say that the little guy in the picture above is the sweetest thing, since this book is kind of heavy (subject matter wise) I thought it would do you all good to see what exactly is at risk if things do not change.I love animals. I love Africa. I love reading about both and most importantly I enjoy reading about the efforts people are taking to help save our fellow animals in their times of need. I think that it's important. Remaining ignorant of the plight of our animal brethren is 100% not the right way to go about things. In fact I'm convinced that if certain changes do not occur...we'll be too late. So the fact that I was able to get my hands on this book made me happy. When the Treasure sank on June 23rd 2000 I had just turned 10 years old a few weeks before, and I remember still 12 years later seeing reports in the paper and on the television about the plight of the oil spill and the hardships the penguins and their rescuers were facing. Since then I've always wondered what really happened...and how the penguins fared. Unfortunately life got in the way and it took me until last week to finally find out what happened. Dyan deNapoli wrote a wonderful tell all book about the ups and downs of rescuing 40,000 penguins who without the help of the more than 12,500 volunteers would have perished otherwise. What I loved most about her book and the way that she wrote it is that she did not make herself the focus as others would tend to do in writing a book on their experiences. Instead she paid an awesome tribute to all who participated in this monumental and miraculous rescue that is the biggest rescue of any animal species ever accomplished. Yes she told her story and shared her experiences but she also shared stories from other volunteers. She didn't toot her own horn or make her contribution to the rescue seem more important than others. She writes with respect, and completely honesty that her part in the rescue was neither greater nor lesser than the other 12,500 people that volunteered their time to come and help save half of the worlds population of the African Penguin. The 12,500 that volunteered came from all over the planet. At the time that the schools in South Africa were closed for vacation and so there was an outpouring of students who volunteered. The young, the old, the rich, and the poor people of South Africa came from all over the country. Then there were the international volunteers that came on their own dime to help save the animals. The support from the international community was amazing! To read about all these people coming together in a country where the apartheid regime was still in practice 6 years before was wonderful because it didn't matter what colour a person's skin was, people from all walks of life volunteered to help the penguins and put up with the most menial tasks like cleaning the guano (poop) off of the pools where the penguins were kept. Another hazard of working with these animals is that they have rather sharp beaks. I have two budgies as pets and when they bite they draw when you take into consideration that they're about the size of a hamster and then you think of how large these penguins are it really puts into perspective how nasty and formidable their beaks are. This is a truly inspiring book about how strong we don't realize we are until fate puts us in a situation in which our abilities, and limitations are tested. Dyan's were severly tested while she was working in South Africa to aid in the rescue. She was there for 18 days and came home 20 pounds lighter, a whole lot more bruised, scared and weary. The physical toll was nothing compared to the emotional and mental toll that effected her as well as other rescuers. In pushing themselves to the limits of their abilities they were left with the after effects of being emotionally drained would follow some volunteers around for years to come. I highly recommend that you check out this book, learning is the key to keeping this planet of ours clean and healthy. The oilspill that occured on that fateful day in 2000 has been repeated many times all over the world and it is up to us to ensure that the waters are safe for us and the animals that we have been charged with being the caretakers for. They do not have the ability to help themselves and because of that the responsibility of that falls on our shoulders. Without the help of organizations like SANCCOB and IFAW as well numerous others the rescue would not have been as successful as it was. If people can continue to come together with a single goal much can be achieved and learned. The rescue of 40,000 wild penguins is proof of that. This book will teach you things about the world that you probably didn't know. Upon reading this I had no real knowledge of the African Penguin but since reading it I feel smarter and more well informed about this little creature that while highly vocal also poses a deep intelligence that I think we should attrribute to all animals. This book will help restore your faith in humanity if you are in need of that, it certainly did for me. I'd like to thank Dyan for writing this book and educating the world on the plight of penguins, as well as giving a stunning tribute to all those who volunteered. I hope this isn't the last we hear from her in terms of writing because her words were eloquently written. Hopefully one day I'll get to thank her in person, but until then I'll be content with her maybe reading this one day and knowing

  • Kate ♡
    2019-04-04 01:50

    Before jumping into this review, I would like to remind you that I am reviewing the book, not the subject matter.The subject of penguins and wildlife is very near to my heart and it truly pains me to rate a book about African Penguins as such but alas, there were significant annoyances and problems with this publication. I would like to also preface this review with some great links about African Penguins, their plight and how you can help. Check out SANCCOB and Two Oceans Aquarium websites. If you can, book a Penguin Encounter at Two Oceans. The penguin handlers are very knowledgeable and you get to experience these wonderful creatures first hand. Exploring Boulders Beach (either in person or online) will also give insight into these unique birds. Websites such as Penguin Promises and Plastic Free July will give you tips and tricks that can help save this species and provide you with ways that you can make a difference in their conservation no matter where you live!I have two major problems with this book: a) the repetition and b) the author’s voice. There is an unreasonable amount of repetition in this already very disorganized book. The other reviews are not exaggerating and it really does take away from the reading experience as a whole. This is a comparatively short book at 250 pages but it could have been half that. The story is not told in a linear fashion and jumps round in time, geography and subject matter far too much. Some of the issues I found (outlined below) might be a result of choppy writing and failure to explain fully. I admit that I got fairly twisted around by the disorganization. The same subject matter (almost verbatim) is expressed across myriad chapters. It felt like there were some paragraphs that were copied and pasted multiple times throughout. In addition to text, there were statistics dumped in randomly and in such volume that they were just overwhelming. Stats are great when used properly but here there were too many rapid-fire numbers that the overall point is lost and it bogged down and detracted from the story instead of complementing it. The last chapter consists entirely of melodramatic pontifications about “purpose” and “meaning”. It was a bit hard to take after slogging through the rest of the book.Secondly, I found the narrative voice irritating. I probably would have enjoyed this more if it was written by a South African who had the knowledge of the area, the entire rescue operation, the aftermath and the penguins. I felt the author was flying her own flag a bit during the short introductory chapter where she mentioned her place of employment no less than five times. People from all over the world assisted in this rescue, not just Americans (a fact which is only recognized at the very end of the book). American arrogance and ego-centrism is quite tiresome. Lastly, the exaggerations the author makes at the expense of fact are frustrating. I would like to clear up some points: • One cannot see the flat top of Table Mountain from the Salt River/Observatory area as the angle is wrong (of course you can see the mountain, but it’s from the side). The V&A Waterfront/De Waterkant area has an excellent view of the Mountain. • You don’t need a malaria jab in Cape Town. The only place malaria jabs are recommended in the entire country of South Africa is in Kruger National Park. • As long as you’re careful, conscientious, heed the safety advice in guidebooks/from locals, and have a modicum of common sense and caution, you’ll be fine. Don't let fear-mongering and media sensationalism dissuade you from visiting South Africa!• Penguins are very unique individuals with individual personalities and quirks. Believe it or not, I have encountered very affectionate penguins! They’re not pets but they’re not all aggro, bitey meanies either. • Boulders Beach is at least a 2-hour round trip from the Airport. It is not “on the way” to the Airport unless you’re coming from the Cape Of Good Hope/Cape Peninsula.(Can a volunteer please write a book about this without all the American sensationalism? Please?)The people that volunteered time, money, food, energy and effort are the real heroes here. After spending May-July in Cape Town, I have no doubt that these wonderful people would rally and help their penguins. The people of SA really care about the environment unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Cape Town is passionate about its animals and the environment in ways North America should really learn from. Both SANCCOB and Two Oceans Aquarium do exceptional work for conservation, education and preservation of African marine wildlife. I definitely recommend checking their respective websites out. Also, if you’re interested, David Attenborough did a BBC series called “Africa”, watch the “Cape” episode for an excellent section on African Penguins.

  • Shannon Allen SEA
    2019-03-25 23:55

    Started off a little slow but definitely got better as the book went on. I can't imagine what that must have been like, to walk in a room full of oiled penguins. Terrible!

  • Barbara
    2019-04-07 05:07

    This is an absolutely wonderful book, and I need to start out by saying thank you to the author, Dyan deNapoli, for sharing this beautiful story with the world, and also a big thank you to Dyan and to Goodreads for selecting me as a "First Reads" winner of this book!! Dyan deNapoli is a remarkable woman who is known as "The Penguin Lady" for the extensive work she has done with penguins.I love The Great Penguin Rescue for so many reasons. First of all, Ms. deNapoli shares so much important, amazing, and interesting information with us. I had no idea how little I knew about penguins, wildlife in general, and our oceans, until I read this book. Dyan gives us a fascinating background on penguins -- how they mate and breed, their personalities, how and where they live, and so much more. Turns out, they are extremely intelligent, and can also be pretty boisterous and cantankerous birds, and some of the stories about them are hilarious!! But this book is also filled with heartbreaking and heartwarming facts that I really think every human being should be aware of.Dyan deNapoli is one of the very few penguin experts in the world, and she and her fellow penguin experts are quite remarkable individuals. Working with penguins is not a glamorous job -- not in the least!! While I was reading about Dyan's work at the New England Aquarium and the unbelievable story about "The Great Penguin Rescue" in South Africa, in which Dyan was a rehabilitation manager in the early stages of the rescue effort, I just kept thinking how amazing these people are -- they have discovered their passion and have made it their life mission. The grueling work that was done in South Africa takes so much passion and energy, and while it is absolutely exhausting it is equally rewarding. It really takes a very special person to do this type of work.In addition to being a fun "adventure story" and such an informative book, this is also an extremely inspiring book. Dyan shares incredible stories of the 12,500 volunteers from South Africa and all over the world, most of whom have never worked with penguins at all. These people were eager to do whatever was asked of them, and each of these stories are a wonderful and beautiful testament to human nature. I recommend The Great Penguin Rescue to everyone!!! I expect you will love it as much as I did!!

  • Paul Pessolano
    2019-04-10 04:59

    This is one of the most unbelievable stories you will ever read - and its true!!!!!On June 23, 2000 the iron-ore carrier, "My Treasure" sank off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. The 1,300 tons of oil that spilled into the ocean contaminated the habitat of 75,000 penguins. Approximately 40.000 penguins were saturated with the oil and were in danger of dying. A massive rescue operation was launched that lasted for three months. The operation would not have been successful if not for the 12,500 volunteers that gave their time and energy to this project. It is impossible in this review to give you a true picture of the difficulties and efforts that made this rescue a huge success. The penguins first had to be captured and taken to a rehabilitation site. Once there, they were allowed to adjust for several days so that they became accustomed to their surroundings. During this time and throughout the three months the penguins had to be fed. A logistical nightmare when you have to find enough fish to feed 40,000 penguins. The next thing that had to be done was to remove the oil from their feathers. They were soaked in Dawn detergent, rinsed, and this process was repeated until there was no more oil on the penguin. They were put under a heating lamp to dry. Since the cleaning removed their waterproofing the penguins had to be swum in pools every day until their feathers became waterproof again.Feeding penguins is not easy, they have razor sharp bills and many volunteers received numerous wounds on their arms from penguin bites.This is not the first time these penguins have been through this routine. This area has had several oil spills over the years and they anticipate more until better shipping regulations are enforced. "The Great Penguin Rescue" is the world's largest live animal rescue. The story is inspiring in that so many people became involved in the rescue and took such a personal interest in trying to save an already endangered species. A highly readable book that will have you thinking about adopting a penguin, and DeNapoli tells you how to do this at the end of the book.

  • Katey
    2019-04-09 07:48

    Before I began reading, I wondered "How much will this book make me cry?"Answer: A lot.This is the story of the 2000 oil spill off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa that affected nearly 40,000 African penguins- then a vulnerable species, and now officially declared endangered- and one volunteer's story. There's a bit of background about other oil spills in the major shipping lane, a bit of penguin biology and behaviour, but it is primarily the story of what was involved in this huge rescue effort.The writing is fairly simple and straightforward, and it does tend to repeat some information a bit, mostly how horrible and devastating it was and how incredible all the people who volunteered were, but it seems as if the horror of all this can't be stressed enough, so I didn't mind. What was important was that the story of the devastation that was wreaked and what was involved in rescuing, feeding, and cleaning these oiled birds was told.And while it's very easy to be angry at the assholes who skirt around proper maintenance of their oil carriers and the corporations who make money off breaking the rules, really when you think about it, every single one of us is guilty, since practically no human being on this planet lives their life without oil or products produced with oil. It's a sorry fact, and made worse by all the other things that humans do and have done that affect penguins- overfishing, pollution, habitat devastation, overpopulation of our own species. We all have our share of the blame, some more than others, but each of us can do simple things to mitigate the damage that we contribute, like taking seafood and meat off our menus.

  • Brittany
    2019-03-28 00:43

    A book about the biggest penguin rescue runs a little long for me. The audiobook was almost 9 hours and could have easily have been 4 hours. Aside from that, it was an interesting story. The author tells the story of going from a 30-yr-old silversmith to a career dedicated to marine life. It is when she is working as one of the penguin workers at the New England Aquarium that she is called in to help with a large oil spill in South Africa in 2000. You learn how penguins really are the most vulnerable animal to oil spills as they can't fly to get away from it or swim at deeper depths to get under it. It's always sad to hear about how much humans hurt animals, especially the details of death by oil, which happened to so many penguins in this case. The oil causes hypothermia, starvation, burns, etc. in the penguins. All the volunteers that come from all over the world to try to save a portion of them (about 40,000) are amazing. They have to take 2 months and up to 13 tries to clean each penguin. They also have to force feed these wild penguins who don't want humans touching them so it takes forever to do. They have to force vitamins on them, force creams to protect their eyes, and charcoal and other things to help with the oil they ingested. I really had no clue how much goes into oil rescue endeavors and how long it goes on for. A story about an amazing animal and the amazing people that went through so much to help them through an environmental disaster that could have wiped out so many more generations of this penguin species.

  • Tina
    2019-04-18 00:54

    This is one of the most inspiring stories I've ever read. I highly recommend it, everyone should read this book. This was the world's largest animal rescue and this woman and the people she worked with who helped clean up this oil spill are absolutely amazing. The numbers involved in this-number of oiled birds, sheer amount of oil that was spilled, number of volunteers needed on a daily basis, etc.-are absolutely staggering. Quite an amazing tale of how resilient the human spirit can be when so many work towards a common goal. Oil spills are so destructive, it is heartbreaking to know that humans can cause so much damage to the earth and its creatures. But, it is uplifting to know that humans can also accomplish a rescue and clean-up operation of this significance. It is vital that we make sure our impact on the environment is a positive one. This book will definitely have you thinking about ways that you can help save our oceans and sea life and considering making some positive changes to your own habits to help turn around the damage we have caused. Without the oceans, life cannot sustain itself. If we continue to over-fish and allow waste to keep being dumped into the waters, we will kill the life that lives within and by doing so, ourselves in the process. We must change our ways before it is too late.

  • Shonna Siegers
    2019-03-23 06:42

    Wow! This book was all at once horrifying and hopeful. The combined effects of we as the stewards of this Earth do to harm all of its inhabitants and ecosystems is brought forth so vividly in this book it is maddening! However, the rescue efforts of experts and thousands of caring everyday individuals working together from all walks of life (even the ridiculously well off working hand in hand with the homeless) to save 40000 oiled penguins is hopeful and inspiring! One might say, that's nice but penguins and the environment aren't as important as people... But remember, if we can't sustain the ecosystems our natural resources come from, even our economy will be unsustainable and people will suffer more! How we treat our natural resources and nature with it will determine the natural consequences on ourselves, and the worlds poor who already suffer will feel it worse! The Earth is on our own hands and us with it! We were given stewardship of this planet... (whether you believe that's by divine hands or by our own taking the point remains...) it's time we took stock of our lifestyles and realized that we are doing a poor job!

  • Shelley Jones
    2019-04-19 06:02

    I read this book as part of the Eclectic Reader Challenge, under the category of "a book set in a country starting with the letter S"--it takes place in South Africa. I listened to it in audiobook form. This was quite an enjoyable book. The author takes a holistic view of the plight of penguins and ties it in well with her own personal experience. She does talk about her own personal journey prior to her coming to South Africa to help with the penguins, and some of that seems a little extraneous, but it's fine. I especially liked her call to action at the end. She tells people how they can help and makes a good case for it, I think. I also really liked how it wasn't all just emotions. The author talks about the decisions that had to be made from a conservation perspective, not just an individual perspective. These are the kinds of choices that humanity will have to make a lot in the future, and I think the book gives a good account of how and why those decisions are made. Good book overall. I would recommend it to anyone interested in conservation, penguins, or animals in general.

  • Heather
    2019-03-27 05:57

    This book is uplifting yet really sad. How have we advanced so far with technology yet we are lagging so woefully behind with environmental and animal rights issues? Knowing that shipping companies intentionally dump small amounts of oil into the ocean through their bilge systems or sending ships out to see with harmful cargo knowing full well the ships are old and likely to encounter problems, even sinking, is deplorable. It makes me sad that the human spirit that came together and saved thousands of penguins cannot be the same human spirit that makes better ecological and ethical decisions. Why must a tragedy like this one be the impetus to be kind to our planet, animals and each other?On an altogether different note, I gave this book 4 stars rather than 5 because I am tired of authors repeating the same information over and over. It creates the sense that they don't think their readers are smart enough to remember the information the first time!

  • Jamie Travitz
    2019-04-18 07:45

    In 2000 the MV Treasure sank off the coast of South Africa and put half the world's African penguins in jeopardy. A team of volunteers, from around the world responded and saved the species. However, the birds still face oil spills and other issues today, and may go extinct if we do not change our ways. The book puts you in the rescue, with the author who came from the US to share here expertise with untrained volunteers to make the effort worth while. While parts of it are repetitive, the book as a whole is a must read for anyone who cares about the environment. There is a lot of bad news out there when it comes to learning about endangered species. This book acknowledges that, but also shows that when pressed, the human species can do great things to protect this planet and the other animals on it.

  • Cathy
    2019-03-30 04:03

    This is a great read - I often struggle with nonfiction but I breezed through this. The story is perfectly set up and is fascinating and dramatic. It's really an amazing story, and I not only learned so much about penguins, wildlife rescue, maritime law, etc., but this book has made me interested in finding out more and doing more to help prevent such manmade disasters. The book starts with the dramatic oil spill and then goes into detailed and interesting background information about penguins, a history of oil spills in the region, etc., and the author does this without dragging the story down at all, and then she returns to the story of the spill and subsequent rescue of the penguins, which she tells with much skill. Highly recommend.

  • Jennifer Nelson
    2019-04-10 00:59

    I love penguins, so naturally I loved reading this book. The author spent 18 days helping to rescue penguins who had come into contact with a large oil spill. She tells the story so well, you feel like you're there with her, washing, feeding, and herding penguins. It was exhausting just reading about the super long hours the many volunteers put into rescuing the birds. The success rate of this rescue operation was nothing short of miraculous and was inspiring to see what caring humans can accomplish. This book also contained lots of details about penguins, which I loved reading about. Penguins are smart, they can learn their names (but are like cats in responding to their name being called), and they are very tough, resilient birds. Overall, this was a great read!

  • Karen!
    2019-04-08 05:43

    Disclaimer: I love penguins more than I love my own mother.This is a great story, written rather well--my biggest fear on picking this book up was that it would be poorly written--that details one of the most threatening oil spills. There is a great balance in the background of the author and how she came to work with penguins at a zoo and the story of this rescue. Many of the details about volunteers, other workers, organizations involved, and the actual process for rescuing these creatures is mind-blowing.From swimming the penguins every day to finding the proper way to defrost tens of thousands of sardines daily to force-feeding wild penguins to cleaning the little guys, this is a remarkable story, no matter what your feelings specifically toward penguins.

  • Jenny
    2019-04-08 07:57

    This is a free book from the Goodreads First Reads giveaways! This is an aptly titled book and will definitely give a person perspective about the inter-relatedness of the global community (humans/animals/environment). I definitely learned a lot about penguins - I especially enjoyed the description about how penguins are viewed as cute & cuddly, but are actually ornery. Thank you Penguin Lady for sharing this tale about the penguin crisis and good luck with your future endeavors!

  • Deanna
    2019-04-01 01:45

    An amazing and inspiring story. What left me feeling disheartened is that we have learned so little from these 'accidents'. The oil spills and leaks (some deliberate and some not) are preventable. However, there is not yet enough pressure upon those responsible to change their ways of doing business. One hopes that books like this will help motivate the general public to get involved and speak up against those who are negligent. Dyan DeNapoli book is one step in motivating people to do so.