Rehabilitated penguins were released at the weekend at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sanccob) 16th annual Penguin Festival in Simon's Town. Some were rescued as small chicks. Photo: Supplied
Cape Town – A penguin aptly named “Diesel”, rescued from a diesel spill, was among 21 rehabilitated birds released at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sanccob) 16th annual Penguin Festival in Simon’s Town at the weekend.

The public was invited to attend the festival to celebrate the endangered African penguin, the only penguin species endemic to the African continent.

At 10am on Seaforth Beach, the rehabilitated animals waddled back to the ocean. Some were rescued as chicks.

Cape Town – The annual Penguin Festival has become a special event for locals and international tourists visiting the Boulders penguin colony.

After the penguin release, the festivities continued at Simon's Town Navy Sports Fields. Families enjoyed activities including mini rides, an inflatable obstacle course and an edutainment marquee.

“What's important to us is that the public leaves the festival informed and ignited with passion to work with us to reverse the decline of the African penguin population and other coastal birds we admit,” said Sanccob's rehabilitation manager Nicky Stander.

In Simon's Town, the successful penguin monitoring and management programme is the result of Sanccob's Stander’s partnership with SANParks, Cape Town Environmental Education Trust and the Environmental Management Department, which is part of the City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority.

Stander said Sanccob was proactive in extending its colony assistance by employing penguin monitors with its conservation partners.

The event was supported by sponsorship from Ocean Basket and Spec-Savers South Africa.

All proceeds go toward Sanccob’s year-round African penguin and seabird conservation work.

Cape Times