Ricochet News

SANCCOB releases first waddle of penguins for 2019

By Lauren Jonas - Jan 14, 2019
SANCCOB releases first waddle of penguins for 2019

Sunday, marked the beginning of a new adventure for 17 healthy African penguins as they were released back into their natural habitat by volunteers at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation Coastal Birds (SANCCOB).

After being treated for starvation at the seabird rehab facility at the Cape Recife Nature Reserve, outside Port Elizabeth, the black and white feathered raft could finally head back home and reunite with their families.

Members of the public also joined the celebration and gathered along Cape Recife Beach to bid farewell to the adorable waddle of penguins.

“The penguins are going back home,” shared a young enthusiastic spectator

Penguins rehabilitated

After undergoing months of treatment and rehabilitation at the SANCCOB, the seabirds are fit and well fed to with stand oceanic life once again.

The African penguins reportedly arrived at the center in poor condition, mostly due to starvation and dehydration.

The SANCCOB facility receives hundreds of birds each year, many of which are ill, injured or famished.

“Sadly, there is just not enough food in the bay for the penguins as a result of the commercial fishing industry,” explained a volunteer at SANCCOB.

A penguin staple diet consists of sardines, pilchards and anchovies. The sea birds need to eat twice daily, as they easily burn up energy therefore resulting in very little reserves.

Save the penguin and other sea-birds

Interestingly, penguins do far more than make us smile, they also play important roles in ecosystems both in the ocean and on land.

Members of the public can get involved in a big or small way. SANCCOB also conducts training and educational talks for schools and community members. For more information contact philipa@sanccob.co.za

In addition, the seabird rehab facility has plenty of resident rescued penguins for viewing, as well as a curio and café where you can enjoy delicious refreshments.

SANCCOB is open seven days a week from 9:00 to 16:00 and guided tours and lessons can be arranged on request.

Over the years SANCCOB has rescued thousands of birds and one by one seabirds are being rescued, restored and released back into the natural habitat.

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