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Locals, tourists flock to Plettenberg Bay to see juvenile penguins released into the ocean

Published Dec 20, 2021

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Cape Town - Spectators flocked to Plettenberg Bay beach over the weekend to witness the release of three endangered African Penguins, whose numbers have declined considerably due to a myriad of factors, leaving the small population extremely endangered.

As part of the objectives of the National Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for African Penguins to curb and reverse the decline of the African Penguin population over the past decade, and as part of the objectives of the National Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP), the Nature’s Valley Trust and Birdlife South Africa collaborated with Tenikwa Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre to arrange their release from Plettenberg Bay.

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The penguins are taken in and cared for by the Tenikwa Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

The centre is one of the largest active wildlife rehabilitation centres in the province and attends to a variety of animals, accepting both terrestrial and marine species.

Three juvenile African penguins await their release into the ocean on Plettenberg Bay beach. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency

The Tenikwa Wildlife Rehabilitation and Awareness Centre’s operations manager Cam Newton said the birds were being released here because they come from all over.

“We don’t have a colony in this area. Sometimes the penguins get ill and injured and our job, as Tenikwa, is to ensure that a bird can be medically attended to by our veterinarians. Tests are run and then they are ready for release, and that is what we are seeing here today.

“These three little individuals we are releasing are penguins that were either brought in by members of the public or the authorities,” said Newton.

Ann Mawer of Birdlife Plettenberg Bay said they had been instrumental in organising the release.

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“We are very happy that our penguins have gone back to their natural world. We have been a bird club for over 25 years, and we contribute financially as well as physically to all sorts of charity organisations in conservation,” said Mawer.

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Cape Argus

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