Ricochet News

Pick a name for SANCCOB Eastern Cape’s newest resident penguin

Aug 1, 2016
Pick a name for SANCCOB Eastern Cape’s newest resident penguin

The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) is inviting the public to suggest a name for its newest resident penguin at its centre in Cape St. Francis.

SANCCOB’s newest resident penguin is an endangered African penguin that has had a remarkable recovery since first being found in a paralysed state on a beach in Buffels Bay (Western Cape) in December last year. The penguin was first admitted to the Tenikwa Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Plettenberg Bay from where it was transferred to SANCCOB’s centre in Cape St. Francis on 17 January to undergo further rehabilitation.

Juanita Raath, SANCCOB’s Rehabilitation Coordinator, said, “The penguin had no external injuries but was completely paralysed and showed no signs of motoric movement. It did, however, show minimal stimulus response in its limbs. We suspect it suffered some form of trauma to its central nervous system like a blow to the head or spinal column.”

The penguin underwent a number of treatment programmes, including physiotherapy, whereby the rehabilitation staff would do swimming exercises three times a day with the penguin in the centre’s pool.

With the help of a local resident, Eric Stewart, a customised walking-frame was obtained to help the penguin with walking exercises. Stewart, who a few years ago had to learn to walk again after a stroke, said, “I got tears in my eyes when I first saw the penguin and wanted to help.”

After less than a month of being admitted, the penguin started showing remarkable signs of recovery and is now able to walk unassisted.

The penguin was admitted in a very tame state and due to the nature of its rehabilitation programme it will be homed in SANCCOB’s permanent resident area at the centre in Cape St Francis. SANCCOB’s primary goal is to release all rehabilitated seabirds back into the wild to bolster wild seabird populations. SANCCOB’s permanent resident pen (called Home Pen) is, however, a sanctuary for rehabilitated seabirds that would not survive in the wild if released but who will still enjoy a very good quality of life under SANCCOB’s care.

SANCCOB invites the public to name the newest member of the SANCCOB family. Male and female names are welcome (as the sex of the penguin is yet to be determined) and the competition closes on the 30th of September 2016. Name suggestions can be submitted at SANCCOB’s centre in Cape St Francis, at the St Francis Bay Superspar or by emailing [email protected]

The winning name will be announced on SANCCOB’s social media pages and the winner will receive a special adoption pack of the new resident penguin. SANCCOB kindly requests that all name suggestions are accompanied by a R20 donation towards the care of the yet-to-be-named penguin.

Donations can also be made online by visiting www.sanccob.co.za or through an electronic funds transfer to:
First National Bank
Account #: 59 23 713 5859
Branch: 203809
Account type: Current