Caution: Penguins Crossing

Why did the penguin cross the road? Because it’s safe – at least in Simon’s Town.

Pedestrian crossings in the town‚ which has its own African penguin breeding colony‚ have been painted with waddling penguins to draw attention to its most popular residents.

CapeNature and the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sanccob) also released 13 African penguins at Stony Point penguin colony in Betty’s Bay recently. 

Three were adult penguins and 10 blues (not yet adults). 

These annual events formed part of the month-long October celebrations focused on creating awareness of the endangered African penguins and marine conservation.

“A positive highlight for this year’s event is that it will be the first time stepping into the wild for these young birds – as the only natural experience would have been in their nests,” said CapeNature.

The iconic and endangered African penguin is the only penguin species to naturally occur on the African continent. It was once one of South Africa’s most abundant seabirds, but has suffered a massive decline in numbers, with only 2% of the historic population left in the wild today.

“Interesting news this year is that the hand-reared chicks released with transponders in 2013 and 2014 are now successfully breeding at the colonies, including Stony Point in Betty’s Bay, Robben Island and Boulders in Simonstown, meaning they are starting to breed at the same age as birds reared in the wild, which means we successfully bolster the breeding population of this endangered species.”

We say happy day for happy feet.


Words from Cape Times and image TimesLive

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