Coast KZN

14 Sep 2017

Baby penguin rescued from Zinkwazi Beach

Elana Geist (North Coast Courier) Picture: Indigo loves her cuddles from Ushaka Sea World caregiver Kelly de Klerk. Photos: SAAMBR

The baby African penguin – an endangered species – had a puncture wound on her chest but is recovering well

After a juvenile African penguin was found at Tinley Manor Beach last month, a baby penguin was found stranded at Zinkwazi Beach on Monday.

Estimated to be no more than four months old, Indigo – as she has been named – is now recovering at Ushaka Sea World and according to their spokesperson, Ann Kunz she is one of the youngest penguins to be brought in to date.

“We believe she is female however we have taken blood tests to confirm her sex.
“When she was brought in a wound on her upper left pectoral and puncture wound on her chest were visible, but she was not underweight and looked rather healthy for such a young penguin so far from home.

“Her lungs were fortunately not punctured and the bleeding from her wounds was contained shortly after arrival,” said Kunz.

Indigo, as she has been named by UShaka Sea World, is happy to be in a safe place after being found stranded at Zinkwazi Beach. Photo: uShaka Sea World

 “She was given antibiotics, painkillers and rehydration fluids before settling down under the infra-red lamp for the night.

“Indigo has remained in the clinic under the watchful eyes of the animal health team for the past two days and is showing signs of improvement.”
Kunz said they believe her wounds will heal and once cleared for release by their veterinary team, she will be flown down to The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) in the Cape for release into the ocean.

Two further penguins were reportedly spotted in the water by fishermen on the North Coast recently, but they have not been seen again.

Fellow patient penguin, Haviana is recovering well and is showing a healthy appetite having gone from weighing just 1,4 kilograms when he was brought in to 3,4 kilograms now.

“The bite wounds he sustained are almost closed and he is responding well to his daily water-based physio sessions.

“He is able to stand on his own and makes attempts at waddling, but he is not about to compete with Happy Feet just yet,” said Kunz.