The African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary release their first rehabilitated birds

The African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) is located in Kleinbaai in the Western Cape and opened its doors in March this year. It was planned and constructed by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) with support from the Blue Fund with the objective to rehabilitate and release injured or sick seabirds back into the adjacent ocean. Their motto, ‘Every Bird Counts’ is apt for this day and age, where habitat loss and other human related factors are affecting wildlife populations globally.

Since opening its doors, the centre has treated a number of seabirds. Thus far, 11 African Penguins (a species endemic to Southern Africa and endangered due to a number of reasons) have been brought into the centre. The injuries have ranged from shark and seal bites to oil coatings. Due to the thorough care given to the birds by the centre manager, Xolani Lawo, many of the birds have recovered well.

This success was made evident when the first two groups of African Penguins were released in July.

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‘This is such an exciting time for us as it shows the need for, and efficiency, of the centre’ commented Brenda Du Toit, the manager of DICT. ‘Ideally we do not want to have any birds in the centre as any injured birds should hopefully be fully rehabilitated for successful release’, Du Toit stated further.

‘As supporters and part funders of this project, we are extremely happy that this centre is proving both useful and effective’, said Mark Gerrard, Conservation Grants Manager for Wildlands and the Blue Fund. For more information on the APSS, please visit www.africanpenguin.org