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WWF Press Release: 17-21 July 2000

WWF South Africa
Media Release

Press releases:

Penguins Rescue Update no 17: 21 July 2000

Peter, Percy & Pam:

With both Peter and Percy safely home on Robben and Dassen Island respectively, Pamela is now in the home-stretch, south of Danger Point. She should arrive home at Dassen Island by tomorrow (Saturday). (To follow her progress, visit the Animal Demography Unit's website at http://www.uct.ac.za/)

On-line Auction of Penguin Painting

An exquisite oil painting of penguins has been generously donated by Cape Town artist Elizabeth Poulsom to raise funds for the WWF Penguin Appeal. Visit the on-line auction to make your bid at www.thelot.co.za

International helpers

Eight Australian experts, sponsored by Nedbank, are currently helping at Sanccob, while four Americans have been ringing penguins since their arrival earlier this week.

SANCCOB & Volunteers

SANCCOB has urged members of the public to keep on supporting them. Volunteers must please call one of the following numbers to help: 480 7726/29/30/49.
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Penguins Rescue Update no 16: 20 July 2000

Peter, Percy & Pam:

Percy was just a few kilometres short of Dassen Island yesterday morning, and we expect today's fixes to be on dry land, back home. As fast as he was (13 days), 100s of penguins have made the journey in a day or two fewer. Some of these birds have been weighed. We are pleased to report that all the weights were above average. Clearly, they did not starve in their efforts to get home quickly. Pamela has rounded Cape Agulhas, and is now swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.

Today is "welcome home penguins" day. At an event planned for the media on Robben Island, first prize would have been finding Peter. But unfortunately the boat trip has been postponed due to the inclement weather. We have had no new positions from him today, as his satellite tag has been off for most of it.

On-line Auction of Penguin Painting

An exquisite oil painting of penguins has been generously donated by Cape Town artist Elizabeth Poulsom to raise funds for the WWF Penguin Appeal. Visit the on-line auction to make your bid at www.thelot.co.za .

SANCCOB & Volunteers

As we come to the end of the big penguin trek, this saga is far from over. It is now that the rehabilitation of the nearly 25 000 birds only starts. SANCCOB will be needing volunteers for at least another two months. Get involved, take a fortnight's leave, and participate in the world's largest bird rescue operation ever. You will not regret the experience.
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Penguins Rescue Update no 15: 18 July 2000

Peter's transmitter confirms he's home!

Peter, Percy & Pam:

Peter is home - according to signals from the satellite transmitter he is still carrying on his back, he is somewhere on Robben Island. But actually finding him is going to be another story ...

Prof Les Underhill of the Animal Demography Unit at the University of Cape Town says Peter is probably puzzled to be missing his neighbours; many of them are still sitting at SANCCOB, either still waiting their turn in the queue for the wash tub, or busy regaining their waterproofing. Happily, thanks to the quality of the response by an enormous number of people and organisations, the vast majority of these neighbours will ultimately return.

Percy is a stone's throw away from home (Dassen Island) at Kommetjie, and Pamela is between Cape Infanta and Cape Agulhas.

According to Prof Underhill, we can only marvel at the navigational feats of our penguins with their SAP-sponsored satellite transmitters. "If a real bird gets lost, it can fly a kilometre or so up in the air, and get its bearings. The horizon is always a kilometre or two away for a penguin. We know nothing about the psychology of penguins, and the best we can do is write a novel about the thoughts that have been passing through Peter's brain over the past three weeks since the landing beach on his island was covered in oil. (Where is my mate? Where are my chicks?) We allowed him the dignity of slipping ashore quietly. This is largely because our technology cannot make an exact prediction of time and place. On Thursday, Percy should be back on Dassen Island too, and everyone should plan to have a 'Welcome home penguins' party that day at home, at office and at school."

(To follow Percy and Pam's progress, visit the Animal Demography Unit's website at http://www.uct.ac.za/)

Welcoming party

It seems the official home-coming party, which has been planned for later this week on Robben Island, will have to be postponed because of bad weather.

Request for fish and volunteers

Sanccob Salt River would welcome donated fish for the penguins. Cathy Williams of Sanccob has also confirmed that they do not have the number of volunteers they require to rehabilitate the African penguins. Sanccob desperately needs help - they need at least 1 000 volunteers per day, every day for at least the next month. After that, they'll still need significant numbers of volunteers for 2 to 3 months. Please contact the Volunteer Call Centre on (021) 480 7726 / 29 / 30 / 49.
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Penguins Rescue Update no 17: 17 July 2000, afternoon

Peter, Percy & Pam:

Peter, from Robben Island, has now begun his last lap home: he is between Cape Point and Robben Island.

Percy, from Dassen Island, is south of Hangklip and Pamela, also from Dassen Island, is near Cape Infanta. (To follow their progress, visit the Animal Demography Unit's website at http://www.uct.ac.za/)

We're home!

The first batch of tagged penguins, which were released at Cape Recife, has now arrived at Dassen Island.

Welcoming party

A home-coming party for later this week is being organised for Peter on Robben Island. Watch this space for further details!

Volunteers

Winter holidays are over and Sanccob desperately need help from volunteers. Please call one of the following numbers to help: 480 7726/29/30/49.