One of the many places the birdies ended up was right on our doorstep, and a mere 15-minute cycle to get to SANCCOB in Cape Town. We registered our names for helping as volunteers, and the day finally arrived two weeks later. Capetonians stepped up and got busy. We shared social media notices, donated money, goods and our time.
But Natalie came to our rescue and showed us around before we were commissioned to our station. The laundry room.
We quickly got onto our WhatsApp groups and social media and asked for our friends to come and collect laundry baskets to hang and dry at their homes. This worked very well. I think we saved ourselves from at least 20 baskets of laundry to hang. As the clean washing came off the press, it was taken to the front for collection.
We were not allowed to get close to them as they were all very ill and in special care. They all arrived with salmonella poisoning, and it is now a race against time to get them healthy and strong again. They have lost a few, but this was to be expected.
There are people assigned to sifting the food and cleaning syringes. First, they must cut the food into small pieces then they must squash them through the sieves. Then they mix the food with baby food and start filling the syringes for the next feed.
While they are sifting food and filling syringes, there are also ladies cleaning syringes. This involves about half an hour of soaking in special chemicals, cleaning, scrubbing and drying too.
And this is just the part that we know of. I take my hat off to the people who are in charge here. They are doing a fantastic job, and they have a well-oiled machine.
|Pic Source : SANCCOB
Some of the rarities under care that we visited were the northern rock hoppers, swift turns, bank cormorants, cape cormorants and white breasted cormorants. The cape gannets and chicks were off limits to the public.
All of this is to thank an amazing woman, Mrs Althea Louise Berman Westphal who in the late 1960’s opened up a sanctuary in her back garden to help treat a colony of penguins from an oil spill. From there her research began, and with good support local and international authorities, eventually SANCCOB was founded.