CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports that 19 penguins are in temporary quarters at California's Monterey Bay Aquarium and are doing what they do best — soaking up attention.
"They always look fun and happy when you look at them," says aquarium visitor Heather Amaral. "You can't be in a bad mood when you look at them."
But right after Hurricane Katrina things looked bleak. With no electricity, the Aquarium of the Americas couldn't maintain conditions needed to keep the penguins alive.
"It was 135 degrees up there," says Tom Dyer of the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. "Those birds weren't going to last much longer."
Saving them required a charter plane to California. After hours in the air the flightless birds seemed delighted to be on solid ground. They also saw a familiar face. Monterey's penguin keeper, Christina Slager, helped raise many of them when she worked in New Orleans.
"It was a reunion," Slager says. "I was thrilled to see them."
The birds had clearly been through an ordeal.
"Their feathers were soiled because of the water quality issues they went through," says Monterey Bay Aquarium's Dr. Michael Murray. "They were very happy to get a bath."
Soon they were healthy enough to join Monterey's resident penguins on exhibit.
"It is double the effort, but double the fun, too," Slager says. "Because you can't have too many penguins."
The animals that were brought to Monterey are among the very few from the New Orleans aquarium that survived. Now, they are a symbol of hope to the humans they left behind.
As New Orleans' rebuilds, these determined birds will be an early part of the migration home.