Why did the penguin cross the road? Because it’s safe – at least in Simon’s Town.
Pedestrian crossings in the town‚ which has its own African penguin breeding colony‚ have been painted with waddling penguins to draw attention its most popular residents.
Summer is the season of the endangered penguin. On Saturday‚ October 27‚ hand-reared and rescued penguins will be released back into the wild at the Stony Point penguin colony in Betty’s Bay‚ about 100km east of Cape Town.
And on November 10 the annual Penguin Festival will be held in Simon’s Town to raise to raise awareness about the birds. It’s hosted by the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB).
The African Penguin population has plummeted in the last century‚ dropping to two percent of its original size‚ SANCCOB reports.
Breeding pairs of African penguins – the only penguin species endemic to Africa – have declined from more than a million a century ago to 26‚000‚ says oceans advocate Lewis Pugh.
Organisations such as SANCCOB play a critical role in rehabilitating ill and injured penguins‚ rescued penguins harmed by oil spills‚ and in rearing hatched penguins to be freed to breed in wild colonies.