Penguin chicks get a helping human hand after folks’ feeding ...

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Penguin chicks get a helping human hand after folks’ feeding failure

The birds' moulting is coinciding with their breeding, leaving them unable to hunt for fish for a month

Senior science reporter

Imagine a neonatal ward for penguins, where hungry chicks (one weighing only 800gm) cling to life while being hand-reared by well-trained health professionals.

This is the fate of 16 of the birds after they were underfed and then rescued at the Stony Point colony in Betty’s Bay and in Simon’s Town in the Western Cape.

Melissa Cadman supervises the Chick Rearing Unit at SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) in Table View. She told Sunday Times Daily: “African adult penguins undergo an annual moult, where they shed all their feathers and new waterproof plumage grows.”..

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