San Diego Zoo saving penguins in South Africa - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego Zoo saving penguins in South Africa

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The San Diego Zoo is helping rehabilitate rescued African-penguins. 

Last week, staffers were on hand in South Africa as seven birds were released back into the wild. 

Joop Kuhn, animal care manager with the San Diego Zoo said the released penguins were rehabbed at a local conservation organization in Cape Town.

One of the adult penguins was saved from an oil spill and had to be taken care of for more than a year. 

Before any bird is returned to the wild, each one goes through a medical exam. 

"There's only between 20,000 to 22,000 breeding pairs of African penguins in the wild. Every chick, every bird is important for the population," said Kuhn. 

Many more African penguins will need rescuing in the next few years.

"It felt really great to see those birds get released back into the wild," said Kuhn.  

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