Penguins safe at SANCCOB after Rietvlei fire

SANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) had to evacuate approximately 300 penguins and other seabirds from their seabird centre after fires flared up at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve on Thursday evening, 5 November.

Fire fighters take on Rietvlei Fire near SANCCOB

Fire fighters take on Rietvlei Fire near SANCCOB

Firefighters from the City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue department were promptly deployed and continued to fight the blaze throughout the night amidst strong winds.

Moving penguins and other Seabirds  in boxes

Moving penguins and other Seabirds in boxes

As a safety precaution, the seabirds were relocated to a safe location on Friday morning with the help of staff and volunteers until the fires were under control. At 11h00 most of the fires were doused and SANCCOB was given the clear to return the penguins and seabirds back to the centre to continue their rehabilitation.

Moving seabirds at SANCCOB

Moving seabirds at SANCCOB

Approximately 126 of the seabirds are penguin chicks that were recently admitted to the centre after being abandoned in nearby colonies. SANCCOB would like to extend their gratitude to all the firefighters, volunteers and the local community for their incredible support during this emergency.

Seabirds safely home

Seabirds safely home

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