Authorities in Uruguay say they have found about 600 dead penguins washed up on the Atlantic coast since Saturday. Experts are trying to determine what has killed the sea birds.
A Navy statement says the latest batch is 200 dead Magellan penguins discovered on the shore at La Paloma about 200 kilometres east of Montevideo.
A marine animal rescue group previously reported that the carcasses of 400 Magellan penguins washed up around the resort town of Piriapolis along with dead turtles, dolphins and albatrosses. The resort is about halfway between Montevideo and La Paloma.
Experts say it is common for dead penguins to appear in the area at this time of year, but the extent of the die-off appears to be unusual.
However officials are now attempting “to establish whether the cause of death is due to a sudden change of temperature” from a toxic substance called Ferox, that was recently found in coastal waters on the Atlantic coast, the navy said.