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SANCCOB & the "Treasure" Oil Spill


... click on the thumbnails for a larger picture

This metre-deep pool is at the Marine and Coastal Management's research aquarium in Sea Point. This facility is used as the holding area for clean penguins awaiting transport to Port Elizabeth.
A clean penguin (well, nearly clean) being flipper banded before release in Port Elizabeth. The bands will enable us to determine how long in takes them to return to Robben Island (or even if they decide to take up residence at the islands in Algoa Bay).
This is part of the stabilization process at SANCCOB. This bird is being "tubed" a mixture of carbon powder and water, directly into the stomach. Rehydrants are also administered in this way, and subcutaneously.
This stabilized bird might wait for days for its turn to be washed. It gets fed several fish twice daily. Never having caught a fish out of water, it does not know what to do with a fish when it sees one, and has to be force fed, a laborious, back-breaking and painful task.
Each penguin takes about 20 minutes to wash. If 10000 penguins needed to be washed at a single washing station, it would take five months of continuous washing to achieve this.
SANCCOB Salt River had 16 000 oiled penguins on 4 July 2000. This is where volunteers who are prepared to commint themselves to a fortnight's feeding duty are most needed.
This is a small corner of the huge railway warehouse at Salt River where up to 20 000 oiled penguins have been cared for at once. This represents about 12% of the world population of the African Penguin under one roof.
A satellite branch of SANCCOB was set up in the Kleinmond-Hangklip municipal store room at Bettys Bay. Here a small number of particularly thin penguins received special convalescent care. This facility was headed up by Carol Walton (left) and Alison Hvidsen (front right), who were assisted by many volunteers from Bettys Bay, Pringle Bay and Kleinmond.
During the period between cleaning and release, swimming is an important therapy! The birds splash and preen, and the waterproofing is gradually restored.