Rescued gannets to have home in the Cape

2013-08-21 00:00

THREE gannets found covered with oil and barely breathing are responding well and might soon have a new home in the Western Cape.

The gannets, which were found at Durban main beach, Warner Beach and Scottburgh beach over the weekend, were unable to feed because of the oil coverage. They were extremely malnourished as a result, Paul Hoyte, spokesperson for the Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (Crow) said.

He said they are still unsure as to where the oil had come from, but will be working with the relevant authorities who are investigating the matter further. In the meantime, the gannets are undergoing treatment to get the oil out of their feathers.

Two gannets were rescued by members of the Umkomaas Lodge Dive Charters on Saturday. Jess Vyvyan-Robinson said yesterday that they had just launched their boat from the Umkomaas River mouth to go diving at Aliwal Shoal, when they noticed one gannet that appeared unable to move. They saw it was covered in oil when they approached it.

“Our skipper, Andrew Gray, saw the bird and we moved closer. Then Bryan Vivier, the owner, threw an oilskin over it so the bird couldn’t bite him. We took it to the Crocworld Conservation Centre in Scottsburgh.”

The gannet was covered in oil, exhausted and unable to fly, she said.

Later that day, they found the second gannet and also delivered it to Crocworld. After preliminary treatment, the birds were moved to Crow for further rehabilitation.

According to Crow, the birds will be moved to a rehabilitation centre in the Western Cape, where they will have a better chance of survival.

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