How you can help the penguins following the Algoa Bay oil spill

Earlier this week The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) confirmed that an investigation is underway to establish the cause of the oil spillage incident off the port of Ngqhura near Port Elizabeth, over the weekend.   

The spill, which reached an alleged 400 litres in the area of Algoa Bay, wreaked havoc on the penguin population of the area.

Around 60% of the world's endangered African Penguin population live in this area, 21 000 on St Croix island and 5700 on Bird Island, says Raggy Charters.  

Originally, reports read that 6 oiled penguins were discovered on the island of St Croix, while an extra 20 adults penguins were later spotted covering their nests and eggs - protecting it from the harmful oil. 

SANParks rangers assisted in rescuing the affected birds from the island, which they then handed over to the rehabilitation organisation, Seabird Rehabilitation Centre (SANCOBB), for further care. 

READ: Same-sex penguin couple becomes parents

How you can help the penguins and other seabirds in distress: 

  • Get a MySchool Card and nominate SANCCOB as a beneficiary.
  • Volunteer your time - conservationists like Marine Dynamics offer volunteer programmes.  
  • Donate - make a donation to the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, who are managed by CapeNature. The African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary is always in need of extra resources to help the penguin colonies inhabiting Dyer Island as it is not yet a Marine Protected Area. 
  • Adopt a penguin - yes! But don't worry, you don't have to look after it like a pet. You can adopt a wild African penguin or penguin egg that will be rehabilitated by staff and released back into the wild. You can even give it as a gift to someone. 

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