Diesel found on a beach at St Lucia

Many miles from home and with puncture wounds on its back and injuries to its left flipper, a young African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) lay helpless and in desperate need of assistance on a St Lucia beach earlier this week.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife staff, who were alerted by local St Lucia residents to the arrival of the most unusual visitor, drove the patient to uShaka Sea World in Durban.

Diesel the African penguin rescued at St Lucia

On arrival, the uShaka Sea World animal care staff named the confused young penguin Diesel and although it is not possible to visually sex penguins, suspected he was a male.

As he did not require immediate medical intervention it was decided to leave him to settle down and recover from the long journey overnight under the watchful eyes of the night staff.

As expected, the next morning Diesel was fairly spirited and the staff saw this as an indication that he was ready to undergo a full medical examination. Rehydration fluids were administered and he was prescribed precautionary antibiotics.

As the antibiotics need to be administered though his food intake it was important that he started eating as soon as possible. Fortunately he took to the pilchard tails with enthusiasm and the staff’s confidence in his recovery grew stronger.

If he continues to regain his strength and fight off possible infections, it is expected he will make a full recovery and start preparing for release within the next two months.

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