It took “numerous attempts” but volunteers at the National Sea Rescue Institute’s (NSRI) Jeffreys Bay station were “successful in capturing” an oiled juvenile penguin.
Commander Rieghard Janse van Rensburg said it was contacted by the local rep of the SA Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds local (SANCCOB) “requesting assistance with a penguin appearing to be oiled on the beach”.
It had been spotted‚ he added‚ by two joggers “on a beach approximately 3 km outside of Jeffreys Bay in the direction of the Gamtoos River Mouth”.
The NSRI 4×4 rescue vehicle was dispatched and the penguin was found about 4km from Kabeljous.
“After numerous attempts trying to capture the penguin‚ we were successful in capturing the…juvenile‚ and it was transported to Jeffreys Bay and handed to the local SANCCOB representative‚” said Van Rensburg.
The bird will be assessed‚ fed‚ cleaned and rehabilitated‚ while Van Rensburg noted that the “little penguin is in very good condition and it is believed that it will make a full recovery and be able to be released back into the wild”.
Two weeks ago‚ the NSRI’s Port Elizabeth duty crew helped SANParks and SANCCOB repatriate 72 African penguins to St Croix Island off the Port of Ngqura.
Among those were 47 oiled penguins the NSRI crew had helped rescue in “rough sea conditions” from St Croix Island‚ on August 22.
The NSRI said at the time that it had to “put rescue teams ashore over rocks to safely capture the penguins” and the “operation was made difficult by rough sea conditions”.
The repatriation operation a fortnight ago was undertaken when the sea was “calm and conditions…were very good” and “the birds were released from the boats into the water without incident”.