The press covered a story this week involving the rescue of an entangled whale near Oyster Bay in the Eastern Cape. The NSRI at St Francis Bay, along with trained volunteers from the South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN), responded to a distress call and discovered two humpback whales, possibly mother and child, swimming together. The smaller of the two had become tangled in a rope and three flotation bouys.
Craig Lambinon, spokesman for SAWDN said, “In an operation lasting just under 30 minutes all rope and flotation bouys were successfully removed from the whale and recovered.
“The whale appeared not to be injured from the ordeal and appeared to be swimming confidently following the disentanglement, and SAWDN is confident that the operation has been successful.”
The penguins at Boulders beach have also made headlines this week. The area is obviously a major tourist attraction, but due to the ignorance of many visitors, the penguins are not 100 percent safe even in this protected area.
It has been reported that many over enthusiastic tourists get too close to the penguins and even pick them up. This is obviously not ideal as the penguins are frightened and often bite resulting in them being thrown to the ground and hurt.
Tourists are also oblivious to their surroundings, and whilst trying to snap the perfect selfie, walk all over the penguin nests in the area. These birds are on the endangered list and it is a privilege to be able to view them in their natural habitat, but a privilege that one should be mindful of and not abuse.
Francois Louw of SANCCOB says that more signage has been put up to request that the birds are viewed from a safe distance and to be aware of nesting areas on the ground. Four penguin monitors have also been employed to keep an eye on the area and to step in in cases where the birds are in danger.