Penguins oil-free; rehabilitation continues

2016-09-08 06:00
The 92 oil smeared African penguins are currently being rehabilitated Photo: SUPPLIED

The 92 oil smeared African penguins are currently being rehabilitated Photo: SUPPLIED

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THE 92 oil-smeared African penguins - including 61 penguin chicks - are all squeaky clean, and are currently being rehabilita-ted.

The penguins were admitted to the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), following the recent oil spill in Algoa Bay. The exact cause of the oil spill is still to be confirmed by authorities investigating the matter.

The oiled penguins, along with 61 penguin chicks, were rescued from St Croix Island in a collaborative rescue operation by the Marine Rangers from the Addo Elephant National Park – South African National Parks (SANParks), the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and SANCCOB. They were transported to SANCCOB’s seabird centre in Cape St Francis and to the South African Marine Rehabilitation Centre (SAMREC) in Port Elizabeth.

SANCCOB’s team of staff and volunteers washed the first penguins on August 21, and the last one on August 25. The entire washing and rinsing process of each bird can take up to two hours. They are then placed in drying pens under infra-red heat lamps that assist in speeding up the drying process.

The washed birds will continue to be cared for by the team at its centre in Cape St Francis, until they are ready for release.

Juanita Raath, SANCCOB’s Rehabilitation Coordinator in the Eastern Cape, said, “We are very happy with the progress made so far and that all the birds are now clean. However, the rehabilitation process is far from finished, as we still need to make sure that each bird regains its natural waterproofing, picks up sufficient weight, regains its hydration and passes all our medical and veterinary checks, before being able to go back into the wild.”

  • Currently, SANCCOB has sufficient staff and v.
  • ’n Spesiale dankie van SANCCOB vrywilliger Trumie Malan: Hierdie is ’n dan-kiesê brief aan die mense in ons kontrei wat so vinnig reageer het op ons vraag na handdoeke en koerante tydens die onlangse pikkewyn/ seevoël olieramp. Dit was ’n lekker verrassing om te sien hoe vinnig en entoesiasties mense reageer het.

Gedurende die rehabilitasie-proses word baie handdoeke daagliks gebruik en ons wasmasjien kon die volume nie hanteer nie. Ons het vier plaaslike wasserye gekontak en hulle het binne ’n paar dae 17 swartsakke, gelykstaande aan 120kg, handdoeke gewas, gedroog en netjies verpak. Ons het groot waardering vir hulle tyd en die manier waarop hulle dit hanteer het.

Die wasserye is: Zola aen Alicistene van Our Laundry in St. Francisbaai, Kobus en Janice van Easiwash in Jeffreysaai (hulle het pas verkoop), Elmarie en Meisie van Wishy Washy in Jeffreysbaai, en Liezel en haar span van Cornerstone in Jeffreysbaai.

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