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ARGENTINA | Tuesday, 15 January 2008 | Views 
Ever since the third grade when I did my "animal report" on penguins, I've always had the dream to head to the icebergs and see penguins. Not quite Antarctica, but close enough, Ushuaia does the trick. We take a bus two hours to Harberton Ranch to an Estancia where we board a boat and head out to the Penguin colony. Most tours take you past the penguins for a fly by picture snapping experience. With this tour, we're with a really small group - only five people - and we get to walk amongst the penguins. We had a great guide, who had very strict rules about what we could and couldn't do, which respected the animals and their nesting area. We got off the boat, sticking close to our guide and got to see these tiny animals hunkered down, protecting their young newly hatched chicks from predators and the harsh winter elements. The noises they made were unforgettable and seeing them protecting their little ones was pretty amazing, and just so coincidental that we are here at the time they are nesting.
We also learned from our guide that in Tierra del Fuego, the national park here, that the trees are dying because of the beavers that had been introduced years ago from Canada. They were brought here for the commercial viability of the oil the produce, but since then have multiplied and grown out of control, to the point where huge areas of land are covered with dying or defunct tree carcasses from the damage the beavers are causing building their dams. Sad to see, we hope they are able to solve the problem before this crisis starts destroying the park more than what's already visible.
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