SANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) in Cape St. Francis (Eastern Cape) is celebrating African Penguin Awareness Day on 17 October 2015 with a public penguin release at the Seal Point Lighthouse and a Penguin Benefit Event at The St. Francis Links. Funds raised on the day will go towards the centre’s on-going conservation work with endangered African penguins.
African Penguin Awareness Day, celebrated internationally on 17 October 2015, is a day dedicated to raising worldwide awareness about the plight of the endangered African penguin – the only penguin endemic to the African continent. The penguin festivities will kick off on Saturday morning (17 October) at 10h00, with a public penguin release of African penguins, next to the Seal Point Ligthouse in Cape St. Francis. Members of the public are invited to adopt and then release the penguins themselves, and to join the SANCCOB rehabilitation team for a private seabird centre tour at 12h00 or 15h00.
The second annual penguin benefit event, hosted in partnership with Graham Beck Wines and The St Francis Links, takes place from 18h30 at The Links Golf Estate. At only R250pp for a ‘penguin pass’, the Benefit Event includes a special presentation by a Graham Beck winemaker, who will be pairing their full Game Reserve range with a delectable three-course gourmet meal. The evening also includes a ‘mini’ benefit auction, led by the witty Jo Brown, with some fantastic getaway experiences up for grabs:
- Three-day adrenalin adventure in Plettenberg Bay, including zip-lining, abseiling, canoeing, kloofing, swimming with seals and skydiving;
- Five-day expedition through the eastern outskirts of the Garden Route, from 4×4 drives and hiking in the Tsitsikamma, cruising on the Knysna Lagoon and paragliding in Wilderness;
- Four-day self-exploration of the Baviaans Kloof, including golfing, game drives and good food;
- Big five and ocean safaris in Mossel Bay;
- Two-day hotel-stay in the Mother City (Cape Town), a special guided tour of SANCCOB’s seabird rehabilitation facility in Table View, Shark-cage diving in Gansbaai and game viewing in the Addo Elephant National Park;
- Two-day four-star golfing in the Magalies Mountains and sundowners on the Harties Dam;
- Whale watching, horseriding, scuba diving, surfing, gourmet meals and four-star stayovers along the local coastline; and
- Escaping to Penguin Paradise by releasing and viewing African penguins in their two Eastern Cape colonies, Bird & St Croix Islands.
Penguin adoptions, pendants and limited-edition SANCCOB-Graham Beck wine hampers will also be on sale.
The proceeds raised on the evening will contribute towards the rehabilitation of approximately 350 seabirds, admitted annually at SANCCOB’s seabird centre in Cape St. Francis and to maintain an oiled wildlife response team in readiness to respond to oil spills along the South African coastline – as was recently demonstrated by a mystery oil spill in Algoa Bay, which resulted in the oiling of 30 African penguins and the abandonment of four African penguin chicks.
This year’s African Penguin Awareness Day promises to entertain young and old. “We would like to invite everyone to join SANCCOB and our partners in celebrating the charismatic African penguin on this special day. The funds raised will help us to rescue, rehabilitate and release the seabirds we admit to our centre every year, and help us to be prepared for oil spills like the recent mystery oil spill in Algoa Bay,” said Louanne Mostert, SANCCOB’s Development and Marketing Coordinator.
To read more about the SANCCOB festivities on 17 October 2015, to book your seat at the benefit event or for penguin adoptions, visit the SANCCOB website: www.sanccob.co.za/events, or contact Louanne Mostert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 083 874 3067.
SANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) based next to the Seal Point Lighthouse in Cape St. Francis has received numerous reports of Cape gannet carcasses along the St Francis coastline.
During the course of the past two weeks, residents reported nearly 15 bodies to be scattered along the Cape St Francis and St Francis Bay beaches. SANCCOB’s Veterinary team conducted post mortems on five of these bodies, and the findings indicate that the main cause of death is most likely to be seal predation.
Should you have a towel or plastic bag at hand, SANCCOB kindly asks the public to assist them in collecting these bodies and take it to their Seabird Rehabilitation Centre in Cape St. Francis – not only will it keep our beaches clean, it will also help SANCCOB to conduct post mortems and further investigate the cause of death of these precious seabirds. Please keep animals away from the carcasses to prevent the potential spread of disease.
SANCCOB will keep the community posted on any further developments or findings.
Communique from Louanne Mostert – SANCCOB, Cape St Francis