PICS: Bird and animal sanctuaries in Cape Town under financial strain
Wildlife animals have also responded to the societal changes of the lockdown in various ways since many of them living within a sanctuary were used to particular routines.
World of Birds in Hout Bay, general manager Hendrik Louw said: “We have to realise that the lack of visitors also has a negative effect on the birds and animals. These birds and animals are used to a routine and changing this can easily stress some species.
“We have noticed changes where some birds are more vocal than usual.
“All animal care and routines are still maintained as normal.”
Louw said they tried their best to keep paying staff and therefore staff took a wage cut across the board.
“Even while staff are earning less, we have some staff who are working 6/7 days a week,” he said.
There are 2500 birds and animals in the sanctuary and fewer numbers were being put into the sanctuary because of the limited number of people on the road to report animals in distress.
Sanccob Seabird Rehabilitation Centre preparedness and response manager Nicky Stander said: “We are utilising skeleton staff while caring for sea bird patients at this time, along with limited local volunteers and international volunteers, who are not yet able to return to their home countries. Due to the very nature of our work, we rely heavily on volunteers, from the rescue and collection of sea birds to the hands-on rehabilitation work at our centres.” Stander said the work had become more intensive and tiring but they were fortunate to have a few dedicated people ensuring the necessary care to patients.
“The concerning factor during lockdown is that beaches are closed and the public are prohibited from walking along the coastline, which means sea birds in distress are not being recovered. Not only has this highlighted the important role the general public plays in the rescue of sea birds, it has reminded us how fragile the sea bird populations are,” Stander said.
Sanccob has undergone weekly permitted beach sweeps to seek out birds in need of rescue and has already admitted more than 100 kelp gulls in the last three weeks.
These birds and African penguin chicks needing care have increased in numbers at the sanctuary. Both non-profit organisations depend on funding largely and have been receiving less funding assistance during this period as they usually would.
One can adopt a penguin on www.sanccob.co.za.
To assist or donate to the World of Birds visit their backabuddy campaign, https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/world-of-birds-wildlife-sanctuary-campaign.@Sukainaish