Every so often I come across something that I just want to get involved in. So I’ve pencilled in 22-27 April to join a group of intrepid Waddlers who will be waddling from Gansbaai to Simon’s Town raising awareness about the plight of the endangered African penguin.
The Penguin Promises Waddle for a week is an AKAA (Animal Keepers Association of Africa) initiative. The group of sixteen tackling the 120km walk consists of animal keepers and animal enthusiasts from around South Africa. Representing uShaka Sea World in Durban are Gabrielle Harris (and her son, Kai), Jane Dlamini, Peter Baloi, Tarryn Abrahams, Paul Lotter and Natasha Lotter. The team from the Two Oceans Aquarium comprises Hayley McLellan, Steven Casper, Nasmie Simons, Fiona McLellan and Katja Rockstroh. Nikki Chapman of Brands for Change and June Smith, Andrea Cronje and Carol Ellerker from Biggarsberg will also be waddling with the group.
You can join the The Waddlers and show your support at any stage. The group will leave from Muizenberg at 09h00 on the final day of the Waddle, Saturday 27 April, and aim to reach Simon’s Town by 13h00. They would love any Capetonians, dressed in black and white, to join them.
The Penguin Promises Waddle for a Week campaign, sponsored by CapeNature and Chrysler Jeep Dodge – Newlands, is not a fund-raising campaign, rather it focuses on raising awareness about the plight of the African penguin. Current data suggests that there are only about 60,000 of these endemic birds left on southern African shores and scientists believe that they could be extinct in the wild within 20 years. Overfishing, climate change, pollution and habitat destruction are just some of the factors taking their toll on the species. “We call on all South Africans to promise to make a change in their daily lives that will effect positive change in the environment and in the lives of African penguins. People are encouraged to promise to stop using plastic drinking straws, to eat only SASSI-green listed seafood (or to stop eating seafood altogether!) or to stop using single use plastic bags for shopping. These changes can have an immense positive impact when they are made collectively,” said Hayley McLellan, Senior Bird Trainer at the Two Oceans Aquarium. “We urge people to support Penguin Promises by sending their promise to [email protected]”. Come on Capetonians, lets all waddle together.
- Fiona McIntosh