Our research vessel went out to sea this morning and shortly returned when the skipper, Jamie, found a very weak juvenile African Penguin floating outside of the harbor.
African Penguins leave the nest at around 6 months, this is a challenging time for these juveniles. They need to figure out what their parents have been feeding them, and where to find it. The fish is scarce and these little guys are struggling to find food, they then become too weak to catch fish. We are finding more and more juveniles like this little one.
The little penguin was taken straight to the rehabilitation center, SANCCOB, where a specialist immediately accessed the juvenile African Penguin. A healthy African Penguin of this age (6-8 months old) should weigh around 2,8kg. This little penguin came in at 1,1kg, severely dehydrated and in shock. Peter placed it on a warm water bottle, where he administered IV fluid, and fed it a mixture of electrolytes and fish meal. The penguin has been given the number 187, and the next couple days are critical. Peter is optimistic that it will make a quick recovery. We are looking forward to releasing 187 back into the wild!
The next batch of rehabilitated African Penguins to join us on the boat.