penguins

Update on the Eastern Cape Oil Spill

cleanAll 92 oiled African penguins, admitted to our Cape St Francis Centre have been successfully washed and rinsed, following the recent oil spill in Algoa Bay. The oiled penguins, along with 61 penguin chicks, were rescued from St Croix Island.

The entire washing and rinsing process of each bird can take up to two hours, before the birds are placed in pens under infra-red heat lamps, that speed up the drying process. The washed birds will continue to be cared for by the team until they are ready for release.

Juanita Raath, SANCCOB’s Rehabilitation Coordinator in the Eastern Cape, said, “We are very happy with the progress made so far and that all the birds are now clean. However, the rehabilitation process is far from finished, as we still need to make sure that each bird regains its natural waterproofing, picks up sufficient weight, regain its hydration and passes all our medical and veterinary checks, before being able to go back into the wild. So there is still a lot of feeding, cleaning and caring to be done. The penguin chicks will, of course, stay for a longer period as they still need to grow into juveniles that are fit and ready for life in the wild.”

The exact cause of the oil spill is still to be confirmed by authorities investigating the matter.

Currently, SANCCOB has sufficient staff and volunteers to assist in the rehabilitation of the penguins and, thanks to the public, we also have all the towels and old newspapers we need. If you would like to assist, please check the Wish List for additional items needed at the centre.

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