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US Aquarium Helps Facilitate Release of 23 rescued African Penguins, who were abandoned several weeks ago along South African Coast

African penguins are considered an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and is on its Red List of Threatened Species

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Kristen Hannigan, senior trainer at the Georgia Aquarium, helps in the release of penguin chicks that were rehabilitated by the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds at Stony Point near Cape Town, South Africa, Dec. 8, 2016. VOA
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December 9, 2016: Twenty-three rescued African penguins that had been abandoned several weeks ago along the coast of South Africa were released back into the wild Thursday, according to officials at the U.S. aquarium who helped rehabilitate them.

Experts from the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta and the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds, which treats threatened seabirds, transported the penguins in cardboard boxes to the coast near Cape Town, where they waddled on the sand before swimming out to sea.

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As many as 900 African penguins are rescued and need rehabilitation each year because of environmental factors such as oil spills, food shortages and habitat degradation, according to the aquarium.

An African penguin that was rehabilitated by the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds is seen prior to its release at Stony Point near Cape Town, South Africa, Dec. 8, 2016. VOA
An African penguin that was rehabilitated by the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds is seen prior to its release at Stony Point near Cape Town, South Africa, Dec. 8, 2016. VOA

Experts from the Georgia Aquarium, which has a colony of African penguins and a breeding program, have been traveling to South Africa since 2009 to help in rescue efforts, a spokesman for the aquarium said.

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The population of African penguins, Spheniscus demersus, has dropped 60 percent in the past 30 years. It is considered an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and is on its Red List of Threatened Species.

The black-footed, medium-sized penguin is confined to the waters of southern Africa. (VOA)

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  • Alison Manka

    Do we know why the chicks were abandoned? Was it lack of food, loss of parent, or loss of suitable nesting sites?

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Pichai met with senior Republicans on Friday to discuss their concerns, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?