Tuesday, 24 January 2012
Charlotte's first week volunteering at SANCCOB
My first week working at SANCCOB in Cape Town, South Africa, has been extremely challenging but also very interesting.
I spent my first few days getting to know the routine and organisation of the centre. I learnt how to prepare the fish formula, waters and darrows (for all the birds that need to be force fed). There is a very strict timing schedule for these that needs to be stuck too- so you have to learn fast!
I also spent a day in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where we looked after the more seriously injured or ill birds. Many of these have extreme injurys, usually caused by predators such as the cape fur seal. Some however may have been affected by human influence e.g. fishing lines.
The amount of care and time required to treat each individual is amazing. The staff are extremely dedicated, and together with the volunteers and interns the centre runs very smoothly.
Some of the work at SANCCOB is very similar to what we do at the park with regards to care and cleaning. The penguins and other birds here however are wild, which means they are much more fiesty and willing to bite!
I have just started my second week and am really looking forward to getting some more experience in handling and feeding the birds.
Best wishes to everyone back in the UK!