About half of the approximately 3 000 flamingo chicks rescued from Kamfers Dam and subsequently placed in rehabilitation centres, are still alive. Photo: Reuters

Cape Town – The abandoned flamingo chicks being cared for at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sanccob) in Table View are now in desperate need of an enclosure in which to walk about.

There are 265 chicks at the sanctuary, 40 of which are in high care and require more help fighting infection.

About 3 000 lesser flamingo chicks were abandoned by their parents last month when the privately-owned Kamfers Dam in Kimberley ran dry.

They were rescued and are being cared for at bird rehabilitation centres across the country.

Sanccob public relations officer Ronnis Daniels said it needed the public’s help to build a temporary 300m² enclosure to meet the growing chicks’ need to walk and exercise.

Gum poles, heavy duty mesh and shade cloth were required for the structure. 

“We are appealing to building suppliers and construction companies to please extend a helping hand and supply materials and supervise construction,” said Daniels. 

Sanccob had enough volunteers to help care for the chicks for the next six to eight weeks.

Earlier, the Department of Environmental Affairs said lesser flamingos had bred at Kamfers Dam, an engineered breeding site, for the first time in 2008, but threats to their survival included loss of habitat or degradation through altered hydrology and water quality, wetland pollution and extraction of salt and soda ash at its breeding sites.

World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary in Hout Bay received 70 of the abandoned chicks. Manager Hendrik Louw said: “It is hoped that after four months all the birds will be brought together and released back into the dam they were rescued at.”

Louw said the chicks were in need of Protexin Soluble probiotic powder, Mobi Flex mobility supplement, Cani-Vit, Medimune, vitamin E capsules, alcohol-based waterless hand wash, 20ml to 60ml syringes, wet wipes, Nestlé Nestum cereal, prawns and shrimps, frozen pilchards, and water.

To donate to World of Birds visit www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/world-of-birds-wildlife-sanctuary-campaign Banking details are: SANCCOB, FNB Acc: 5923 713 5859, Ref: CTflamingos