After a freight ship hit ground and broke apart on a distant British South Atlantic territory, there have been thousands of the endangered penguins covered with oil.
The oil is also a threat to the fishermen out to catch lobster that they catch and sell for a living in the distant territory.
The ship was going from Brazil to Singapore. On board it carried 1,500 metric tons or 1,650 tons of fossil oil. It was also carrying a cargo of 66,000 tons of soy beans.
There were no deaths as a result of the grounding of the ship. All 22 crew members were rescued before the boat ended up in two pieces.
As of now, the Nightingale Island has oil circling around it. The incident is becoming a disaster.
It is possible that over 20,000 penguins could be affected by the oil. Of the 500 checked so far, over 250 of them were covered in oil.
Nightingale Island is located in the Tristan da Cunha chain. It is located in the middle area between Africa and South America. There are possibly 200,000 penguins living in Tristan da Cunha. That number includes close to 1/2 of the globes number of northern rockhopper penguins which is an endangered species.
The breeding grounds of the penguin may very well be affected by the oil spill.
Along with the spill is the danger of rats that may have been on the ship making it to the islands and eating the eggs and small chicks of the penguins and other birds natural to the area.