Penguins take flight to head home

African Penguin friends, Gucci and Havaiana,

Two endangered African Penguins flew home to Port Elizabeth, last week, after spending time in the rehabilitation centre at uShaka Sea World.

African Penguin friends, Gucci and Havaiana, arrived at uShaka Sea World within a week of each other after being found stranded on separate KZN beaches.

Gucci arrived from Port Edward on the lower South Coast and Havaiana from Tinley Manor beach on the North Coast.

Both Gucci and Havaiana were markedly underweight on arrival but they have gained 1.8 and 2.8kgs respectively since arrival at uShaka Sea World. “In addition to being underweight, Havaiana also had an injury to his leg that has thankfully, completely healed,” said Animal Behaviourist, Kerry Cahill.

The tightly bonded pair followed each other when they were swimming and waddling about. “Gucci was very good at keeping Havaiana in her vision and I have no doubt she will claim him as her lifelong mate once they are released,” added Cahill.

Havaiana and Gucci were given their “flying colours” by resident veterinarian, Dr Francois Lampen, which meant that they were fit to travel to SANCCOB (The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) in Port Elizabeth to begin the final stage of their rehabilitation journey – preparing for release.

The two were placed in specially designed transport boxes to leave for Port Elizabeth on a flight out of King Shaka International Airport. Cahill travelled with the precious cargo to ensure their safe arrival at SANCCOB.

For more information contact Ann Kunz during office hours at uShaka Marine World on 031-3288222


Lauren Beukes

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