Stolen African Penguin Likely To Starve to Death

Fredrick Ngugi September 30, 2016
An African penguin. Marine Bio

A South African marine park has embarked on a desperate search for an African Penguin that was reportedly freed from the park by two student activists who were protesting against animal captivity, according to the BBC.

Named Buddy, the male penguin was born in the park, and experts say he has no idea how to survive in the wild. They claim the students unwittingly sent the penguin to his death.

“He is completely ill-equipped to survive in the wild. He will have no idea where he is,” Dylan Bailey, manager of Bayworld in Port Elizabeth, said.

“Luckily, he was a very healthy penguin – actually quite fat – so he has a good few weeks of reserves.”

The two students, who are reportedly in their early 20′s, were captured on CCTV climbing in to the pool and then bundling Buddy in to the boot of a car before driving him a short distance to the sea, where they released him.

Bailey says even though the students didn’t have intentions to harm the bird, their actions have had dire consequences: Buddy was looking after his two chicks, one of which has died since his disappearance. His partner Francis hasn’t left the nest since she has to watch over the remaining chick.

“They are monogamous animals. They pair for life. If we can’t get Buddy back, we will try to pair her with another bird, but it may not be successful,” Bailey added.

Bailey is optimistic that Buddy will come ashore before he gets too weak.

The African Penguin

Also known as the “Jackass Penguin,” the African penguin is a special species of black-footed penguin, which is only found on South African waters.

Like all existing penguins, the African penguin is flightless, with a streamlined body and stiffened and flattened wings.

An adult African penguin weighs, on average, between 2.2 and 3.5 kg and is about 70 centimeters tall.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: September 30, 2016


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