There was a crowd of close to 200 at Samrec’s release of 32 penguins yesterday at Cape Recife Lighthouse.
The SA Maritime Rehabilitation and Education Centre had cleaned oil off the sea birds after an oil spill on the Eastern Cape coast off Port Elizabeth.
This was the second batch of African penguins to be released after recovering from an oil spill last month. Around 150 penguins were found covered in the thick sludge in mid August near St Croix and Jaheel islands, drenched in oil and traumatised by the ordeal.
Last week the National Sea Rescue Institute’s Port Elizabeth duty crew assisted SANParks with the release of 72 African
penguins back into their colony on St Croix Island.
A team from SANParks worked with the SA Foundation for Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sanccob) in retrieving the birds, which were taken to to Sanccob and Samrec for clean up and rehabilitation.
Numbers of penguin are significantly lower than 16 years ago, with St Croix having an estimated 8 000 breeding pairs, while Bird Island has 2 800 pairs, making them globally significant colonies.
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Find out more about Samrec at its website www.samrec.org.za