Friday, 3 February 2012

The Return Of The Penguins!

Keeper Charlotte's latest update from her Conservation Project in Cape Town, South Africa

This has been an exciting week at SANCCOB for me because on Tuesday I was able to go on a release!

We drove the two hours to Boulders Beach with myself and three other volunteers sat on boxes in the back of a van with nine penguins.

Once we arrived we were met by some of the local park rangers who were also going to be releasing some birds.

We took the penguins in their boxes down towards the sea, which became quite a challenge once the tourists who were visiting the area there realised what we were carrying!

Eventually we managed to get down to the waters edge, on a secluded part of the beach. This area is off limits to tourists which made it perfect for the release.

We saw kelp gulls, cormorants, oyster catchers and of course lots of wild African penguins! This was my first sight of them in their natural habitat and it was amazing to see them walking and swimming around freely.

We took it in turns to open our boxes and release the penguins. Some of them raced out as quick as possible, whilst others needed a little encouragement!

It was one of the best experiences I have ever had, knowing that our hard work has helped these birds recover and given them a second chance. It definitely makes all the hours of cleaning, scrubbing and bites worth it!

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