Weekly Press Review – 7 November 2014

The Volvo Ocean Race has made headlines this week as it arrives in Cape Town.  The race is a great opportunity for the local economy, generating thousands of job opportunities and generating a tidy cash injection.

Garreth Bloor, Mayco member for tourism, events and marketing, says, “These large events that attract well-heeled participants together with association services, contribute significantly to our economic growth.”

Also making headlines this week is a new method of monitoring penguins currently being tested in France.  An international team has been involved in the testing of a robotic penguin chick, cleverly disguised as a real chick, complete with down covering, fins and a sharp beak.

The rover was designed to assist with the reading of signals from electronic ID tags fitted to some of the penguins for research purposes.  These tags cannot be read beyond a distance of 60 metres.  The rover is able to get extremely close to both adult and baby penguins whilst causing very little stress to the birds.

The tests are taking place on king penguins on Possession Island in the Indian Ocean, as well as on Emperor penguins in Antarctica.  Co-author of the study, Yvon Le Maho of the University of Strasbourg in France said that the project may lead to “more ethical research that also avoids the scientific bias caused by disturbing the animals in their natural habitat.”

A group of 14 young turtles have also made headlines this week as they make their journey from the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town to UShaka Marine World in Durban.

Every year between April and May, due to the strong currents, turtles wash up on the beach between Noordhoek and Camps Bay.  People who spot them bring them into the Two Oceans Aquarium for rehabilitation.

Aquarium Communications manager Renee Leeuwner says, “They come to us dehydrated, suffering from hypothermia and we get them back on track. Each turtle gets individual attention; once they are ready we take them to uShaka to be released.”

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