By: Ann Kunz
On Monday 28th December we received a message that there was an adult gannet who was unable to fly on Ifafa beach. The Shelly Beach Sea Rescue was contacted and kindly assisted in making arrangements to transport the Gannet to uShaka Sea World.
On admission it was found that the gannet, who was named Skye after the person who drove it to Durban, was underweight, weak and unable to stand.
Skye was given a fluid treatment and put on a course of antibiotics and left to rest. We are unable to tell whether Skye is a male or female as there is no way of visually sexing a gannet. We are delighted to report that Skye has responded well to care and treatment and has regained his strength. He (or she) has gained weight and his general body posture and reaction to outside stimuli is now quite normal. He is easily able to get into and out the water on his own, preens a lot and is aware of people approaching him, and reacts defensively which is exactly as he should.
His principal caregiver is Lesley Labuschagne who is the exception to the rule and is allowed to get relatively close without evoking a defensive reaction. “I have absolutely loved taking care of Skye who is unlike any other gannet we have ever cared for. He is so easy to work with as he is very relaxed and other than being a fussy eater, is probably the most endearing patient I have ever worked with. He eats around 11 sardines each day, but they need to be absolutely perfect in texture otherwise he just spits them out. I am going to miss him but am overjoyed that he has recovered so well and is scheduled to be released tomorrow” said Lesley.