While Simon’s Town was abuzz with the excitement of the annual SA Navy Festival this morning (Sunday 18 March 2012, a quiet little drama of a distinctly more delicate sort was taking place on the placid waters beyond the harbour wall. Dave Parry -Davies, (http://scenicsouth.co.za//2011/12/the-enviropaedia-and-an-eco-logical-future/) paddling out with the regular Sunday morning group of kayakers that leaves from Bertha’s at 9.30 am, came upon a very fragile young African penguin floating in the yacht basin. Scooping it up and placing it gently onto the splash cover of his kayak, Dave set off for Boulders beach, where he handed over the weak patient to Sancob officials.
The African penguin was previously known as the Jackass penguin, because of its ‘braying’. Although lumbering awkwardly on land, they are fast swimmers and have been known to swim at speeds up to 24 kms per hour. The first pair of African penguins was seen on Foxy beach at Boulders in 1982. Two years later they had produced offspring and by 1997 there were2350 adult birds, the colony having grown through reproduction as well as immigration from other penguin colonies. Oil spills and declining fish stocks – penguins feeding on small pelagic fish – and the fact that penguins have now also become the prey of seals, have led to a serious decline in numbers and the African Penguin now appears on the endangered species list.
We hope to hear soon that Penguin Parry has fully recovered and that he has been returned to the penguin colony at Boulders.
For more about Dave, founder and editor of Enviropaedia
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