Endangered bird eggs stolen

2016-05-17 06:00

An investigation is underway to ascertain how African Penguin eggs were stolen from the Boulders Penguin Colony.

A man was arrested on Tuesday 10 May in Glencairn by members of the City’s Law Enforcement Marine Unit, while trying to sell the eggs of the endangered African Penguin.

The suspect had allegedly harvested two eggs, most probably from the Boulders area, and was trying to sell it to members of the public when he was nabbed by the officers.

He was taken to Simon’s Town police station and placed under arrest.

The eggs were safely handed over to SANparks staff.

While the management of Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) has welcomed the arrest in a statement, it remains unclear at this stage from which part of the Boulders Colony – which consists of SANParks, City of Cape Town and private property – the eggs were taken.

The eggs were sent for verification to the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) who confirmed that the eggs were indeed penguin eggs. SANCCOB is currently busy with a report regarding the condition of the eggs.

African Penguins are classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List and it is listed under appendix II of Convention on the Trade of Endangered Species. In South Africa it is further listed as a protected species under the Biodiversity Act.

“It is for this reason that TMNP views these illegal actions as serious and will continue to work together with other conservation bodies to ensure the survival of the species,” the organisation says in a statement.

SANParks has law enforcement staff and security on patrol within the park at the Boulders Penguin Colony 24 hours a day and will continue with these patrols, the statement states.

“Because this is not an isolated incident we do regular patrols in the area to prevent this from happening. SANParks and other agencies will continue to investigate to determine what could have been his motivation for removing the eggs,” it stated.

“Given the expanse of the colony at Boulders and the fact that the penguins breed inside and outside of the national park, management would like to encourage residents and visitors to report any possible transgressions to the authorities as soon as possible.”

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