The suit, the waddle, a lasting love encapsulated with a forever pebble… Dear Penguins, have our hearts!
Have you visited the African Penguin colony at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town? Petra Laranjo and Craig Hawks had such an incredible day hanging out with these suited-up cuties.
As quirky and characterful as they may be, their population of over a million in the 1930s has dwindled to an estimated 50 000 birds with only an estimated 20 000 breeding pairs left. Over the past 30 years, a staggering 90 birds are lost per week. If this continues, the African penguin could be extinct in the wild by 2030.
Aquariums aren’t the solution as they deserve to live freely in their natural habitat.
Here’s an interesting excerpt, courtesy of www.simonstown.com/penguins
“African penguins have been particularly vulnerable to human depredation. From the time of the first Dutch settlement at the Cape in 1652 penguins were an invaluable addition to the settlers’ food supply.
In more recent times the decline in food supply has forced penguins to adapt their eating habits. Seals, which used to share the same small fish, now increasingly prey on the penguins instead.
Oil spills from tankers are also a hazard since the oil clinging to their feathers affects their insulation.
As a result of all this, there has been a serious reduction in their numbers, and African penguins are now regarded as an endangered species.”