Fun way to learn about environment

Lynne Gadd-Claxton

VISITING the South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (Samrec) will teach children to respect their environment and understand the dangers that a person can wreak upon their surroundings.

The non-profit organisation was established to care for mainly sick or injured African penguins. The centre’s work is vital particularly as St Croix Island situated off our coast is the penguin’s largest breeding colony in the world. The centre can accommodate nearly 2000 birds if there is an oil spill or leak.

During the tour of the centre, visitors will learn about the dangers of pollution and what they can do to prevent endangering marine life.

The centre’s guided tours of the bird hospital and premises can take place at any time.

On Saturday Samrec will be releasing 12 penguins at 9am. A speech will be given highlighting the challenges facing penguins in the colony since an airborne fungi – from windblown sand off the Coega harbour – has been affecting the chicks.

Samrec is open daily from 9.30am until 3.30pm. The best time to visit is 2.30pm when the centre’s staff feed the penguins. Admission is R15 for children (u-16) and pensioners, and R25 for adults. For inquiries phone (041) 583-1830.

Visitors to the centre can enjoy a cup of coffee and something to eat at the Flying Penguin Cafe which is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.30am till 4pm.

To get to Samrec, travel along Marine Drive, Summerstrand, and take the Cape Recife turn-off until the boom gate which will be opened for visitors to the centre.

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