415 Cape penguin chicks saved

A total of 415 endangered African penguin chicks were rescued from starvation at various penguin colonies near Cape Town, the International Fund for Animal Welfare said.

“The chicks... from land and island-based penguin colonies... were abandoned by their parents and in danger of starving to death,” the welfare spokesperson Christina Pretorius said in a statement.

“This is the largest number of chicks the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sancobb) has cared for at one time since 2007 when 481 abandoned chicks were treated,” she said.

A rescue team retrieved 236 chicks from Stony Point, 155 from Dyer Island and 24 others from various colonies today.

They were taken to Sancobb, where they would be hand-reared for about six weeks before returning back to their colony.

“On several penguin colonies, chicks that hatch late in the season are frequently abandoned by their parents when the weather grows warmer and as food supplies diminish,” Pretorius said.

“The problem is exacerbated by the fact that remaining adult penguins begin their annual moult at this time of the year. During moulting the penguins shed their old feathers and grow new ones, leaving them not waterproof and therefore unable to swim, catch fish and feed their chicks.”

Sancobb CEO Venessa Strauss said that hand-reared penguin chicks showed a higher record of surviving to breeding age as well as higher productivity, compared to those fledged in the wild.

The African penguin population has declined by more than 60% in the last three generations, Pretorius said.

The sharp decrease led to African penguins being classified endangered rather than vulnerable.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Would you choose to continue working from home after the coronavirus lockdown if given the option?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's much better for me
40% - 7837 votes
No ways! I can't wait to get back to the office
12% - 2284 votes
A mixture of both would suit me best
48% - 9506 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.17
(-1.6)
GBP/ZAR
19.52
(-1.6)
EUR/ZAR
16.95
(-1.7)
AUD/ZAR
10.98
(-1.2)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(-1.4)
Gold
1,763.25
(+1.6)
Silver
25.84
(+1.7)
Platinum
1,196.50
(+1.9)
Brent Crude
66.58
(+4.6)
Palladium
2,745.14
(+2.5)
All Share
67,823
(+0.0)
Top 40
62,080
(-0.0)
Financial 15
12,342
(+1.5)
Industrial 25
88,642
(-0.2)
Resource 10
68,828
(-0.3)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo