Two penguins in uShaka Sea World’s hospital

  • 21 June 2012 | SAAMBR

Two Animal Care staff hold Cherub and Aero in the uShaka Sea World hospital

The first to arrive was young Aero who was found at Warner Beach by fisherman Glen Jansen who was quick to realise that the little penguin was in trouble. He brought the bird straight to uShaka Sea World and although Aero weighed a relatively healthy 2.3kg there was evidence of a narrow escape from one of the sharks that follow the sardines.

Luckily for Aero, although the shark bite caused multiple lacerations and some muscle damage, it did not break any bones. Aero was treated with antibiotics and a vet light for his wounds and given multivitamins to aid his recovery. He has a healthy appetite and loves pilchards which helped him put on nearly a full kilogram in less than two weeks.

We are not sure whether Aero will be able to fully utilise his left leg – time will tell. If he does not regain the use of his leg over time, he will join the other African penguins in the uShaka Sea World penguin colony, but we believe that while there is still a chance we are doing all that we can to help him return to the ocean.

Tiny Cherub arrived on 9 July 2011, sitting on the front seat of a fisherman’s bakkie – apparently causing a lot of head-turning along the route from Amanzimtoti Beach, where she was found, to uShaka Sea World. Although she was about two months old, she was tiny and needed to be urgently rehydrated when she arrived because she was painfully thin. She too, has thankfully started to fill out and now weighs 1.42kg compared to her 1.15kg on arrival three days previously.

If she continues to gain strength at her current rate, we believe that in a couple of weeks she will be strong and healthy enough to be given the vet’s green light to board an SAA flight back to the Cape for release off Robben Island.

 

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