91 penguins in danger after oil spill

22 August 2016 - 10:02 By Philani Nombembe

The SA Foundation for the Conservation of Costal Birds is worried about oil spills that continue to endanger penguins in our waters.An oil spill near Port Elizabeth last week affected nearly 100 penguins and chicks.The National Sea Rescue Institute said the spill occurred during a "ship-to-ship oil transfer".The spill is being investigated by the SA Maritime Safety Authority.Foundation seabird rehabilitation expert Chanel Hauvette said they began cleaning the first birds yesterday.She said although no deaths had been reported, the penguins were at a risk of dying from hypothermia."We have 91 birds, 40 of them are chicks. The oil completely destroys the structure of the birds' feathers. That means their skins get wet and they will suffer from hypothermia."Hauvette said it appeared that the oil had moved into the deeper part of the ocean, and was not affecting more penguins.The foundation appealed to the public to donate towels and newspapers.They can be delivered to its offices in Cape St Francis or at Wimpy in Jeffrey's Bay.

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