Wilderness Foundation Africa, through the Forever Wild Conservation Programme, has donated R25 000 towards the rehabilitation of endangered African Penguins who were recently found covered in oil, following spills in Algoa Bay around the Port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape.
The penguins are part of the important breeding colony on St. Croix Island that forms part of Addo Elephant National park and are a vital component of the complex and diverse ecosystem of the bay.
Many of the oiled and injured birds were taken to the South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (SAMREC), located within the Cape Recife Conservancy, where they have been receiving care in order that they be rehabilitated. This care includes cleaning the birds, medicating them and feeding them up to 3 times per day.
Although the number of oiled penguins and abandoned chicks is still to be confirmed, the first group of rehabilitated penguins are hoped to be released in the next two weeks, when their natural waterproofing has recovered. When the birds get covered in oil it disrupts the natural waterproofing ability of the feathers and the ability to regulate body temperature and makes them susceptible to hyperthermia
Thomas Morris, Manager of SAMREC, thanked Wilderness Foundation Africa for their support and stated that the money donated would assist with the rehabilitation of around 25 birds.
Wilderness Foundation Africa and SAMREC commend the efforts by SANParks and the NSRI in the rescue of the birds in this recent oil spill.
Wilderness Foundation Africa supports SAMREC’s mission of rescuing tired, dehydrated and injured marine birdlife that become stranded on their shores. They focus on bringing these creatures back to full health so that they can release them back to the wild as quickly as possible. The main bird species aided by SAMREC is the African Penguin, an endangered species of bird that occurs off the South African and Namibian coasts.
Wilderness Foundation supports the concept of ocean wilderness that by definition are large areas of the marine environment that are untrammeled and generally undisturbed by human activities and dedicated to the preservation of ecological integrity, biological diversity, and environmental health.
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