Dyan deNapoli

Dyan deNapoli
Dyan deNapoli
THE GREAT PENGUIN RESCUE: 40,000 Penguins, A Devastating Oil Spill, and the Inspiring Story of the World’s Largest Animal Rescue
THE GREAT PENGUIN RESCUE is a vivid first-person chronicle of the record-breaking rescue of 40,000 penguins from an oil spill in South Africa. Praised by the New York Post as “an eco-thriller with a happy ending”, THE GREAT PENGUIN RESCUE won a Silver Nautilus Book Award, was named a “Must-Read” Book in the Massachusetts Book Awards, and was selected as “One of the best Natural History books of 2010” by Library Journal.


On June 23, 2000 an iron-ore carrier named the MV Treasure sank off the coast of Cape Town, contaminating the habitat of nearly half the world population of African penguins with oil. The spill occurred at the height of the best breeding season on record, putting this already Threatened species at even greater risk of extinction. Over the next three months, 125 penguin experts and 12,500 inexperienced volunteers spent more than 556,000 grueling hours bent over feeding pens and wash basins trying to save the oiled penguins. Thanks to the unflagging efforts of so many dedicated volunteers, more than 95% of the penguins were ultimately saved. THE GREAT PENGUIN RESCUE reminds us that one person can absolutely make a difference. And, when we come together and work as one, we can achieve extraordinary – even seemingly impossible – things!
Boston, MA USA
Dyan deNapoli is a penguin expert, TED speaker, and author of the award-winning book, THE GREAT PENGUIN RESCUE. After working as a Senior Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium for nine years, she founded her company, The Penguin Lady, to teach audiences worldwide about these unique seabirds. She speaks at grade schools, colleges, museums, conferences, libraries and retirement communities; and has been the guest lecturer on nature cruises to Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands. Over the last fifteen years, she has shared her passion for protecting penguins with approximately 300,000 people.


Dyan has been the featured guest on numerous television and radio programs in the US and abroad, including CNN’s Situation Room, BBC Radio, CBC-Radio Canada and Sierra Club Radio. Her mission is to raise awareness and funding to protect these engaging – and threatened -seabirds. To that end, she donates 20% of the proceeds from her book and from every appearance to penguin rescue, research and conservation groups. Dyan’s participation in the dramatic rescue of 40,000 penguins from the Treasure oil spill was a profound experience and a life-changing event. Her inspiring TED talk about the world’s largest animal rescue can be viewed at: http://www.ted.com/talks/dyan_denapoli_the_great_penguin_rescue.html


1) Penguin biology, behavior and conservation. I have a range of penguin programs designed for every age group – from age 3 to 103!


2) The Great Penguin Rescue – about the Treasure oil spill rescue.


3) Motivational talks, based on my experiences helping to save 40,000 penguins from an oil spill. (My 12-minute TED talk, The Great Penguin Rescue, is about this groundbreaking event.)


4) How to get a literary agent, and how to get your book published with a major publishing house.

Oh, there are too many to include here! But a few of my favorite quotes are engraved on silver bracelets that I wear every day. They are:

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all – Helen Keller
It’s never too late to be what you might have been – George Elliot
Be the change that you want to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi

Two others that have great meaning for me are from Goethe and Marianne Williamson.

From Goethe: “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”

And from Marianne: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

  • Dyan deNapoli