On Monday, 2 September 2013, The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) will release the first group of seabirds admitted to its centre in Cape St. Francis following the Kiani Satu oil spill in the Goukamma Marine Protected Area. 47 Cape Gannets have been approved for release by SANCCOB’s veterinary team after undergoing nearly four weeks of rehabilitation at the centre. Others will follow soon.
Members of the public and media are invited to attend the release of the first group of rehabilitated birds at 11h30 on Monday, 2 September 2013, at the Cape St. Francis Lighthouse. For further information, please contact Venessa Strauss, Conservation Director on 082 325 4638 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To date, SANCCOB has admitted 112 oiled African penguins, 172 oiled Cape gannets and one White-breasted cormorant [285 in total]. The oiled seabirds have been admitted from areas ranging from Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, Wildernis, Still Bay and as far as Bird Island and St. Croix.
The German bulk carrier has since been re-floated and towed out to sea where it sank on 21 August 2013 in deep sea.
A team of approximately 30 SANCCOB staff, SANParks Rangers (Addo Elephant National Park and Table Mountain National Park), Tenikwa staff, SAMREC staff and volunteers, and local volunteers have been work tirelessly the past 4 weeks hydrating, strengthening and washing the 285 oiled seabirds. Only 23 oiled African penguins remain to be washed in the coming week.
Venessa Strauss (Conservation Director of SANCCOB) said, “Releasing the first group of birds is a wonderful reward for all the people who have worked tirelessly this past month to rehabilitate these birds. Washing and cleaning the birds is only a small part of the rehabilitation process – endless hours were spent building enclosures, cleaning syringes, preparing fish and making fish formula for weak birds. All these activities have contributed to the success story. We are very grateful for all the help and support we have received from the local community and we can all be proud when we wave these birds off tomorrow!”
This incident is a reminder of how important it is for SANCCOB to maintain a high level of skilled, experienced personnel and volunteers. Maintaining strong strategic relationships with relevant authorities is also vital to our operations so that we can respond effectively when these kinds of disasters strike.”
Over the next few weeks, the remaining birds will continue to be fed, hydrated and swam in the pools to regain their natural water-proofing until they are set for release.