4 000 penguins threatened after diesel spill

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Cape Town – A fishing trawler that spilled 10 000 liters of diesel after it collided with rocks near the Stony Point Penguin colony has placed the lives of 4 000 penguins in jeopardy.

The collision occurred 5km away from the colony and resulted in the death of one crew member.

CapeNature’s seabird and animal rescue team has been stationed near the accident epicentre to determine the extent of the diesel contamination on the wildlife.

The colony is home to more than 400 nests of a variety of species according to the Cape Times.

A spokesperson for CapeNature Justin Lawrence says that because the diesel is not visible it makes it harder to determine how far the fuel has spread and that makes it even more dangerous.

The conservation group is currently trying to rescue as many penguins and seabirds as possible by creating a perimeter around the colony, in the hopes of isolating the birds away from the spill site.

The Western Cape’s disaster risk management as well as SA Maritime Safety Authority are collectively observing the disaster area for environmental effects.

No seabirds or penguins have been affected as yet as there is a funnel present that guides the birds to the colony  from the ocean according to Lawrence.

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