128 abandoned Cape cormorant chicks have been rescued by the NSRI Table Bay crew at the request of Sanccob (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds). The chicks were found on Robben Island.
Pat van Eyssen, NSRI Table Bay duty coxswain, said they were called at around 11 am on Tuesday assist in an ongoing rescue operation of Cape cormorant chicks at the island.
“It appears that a large number of Cape Cormorant chicks may have been abandoned on the island and left to fend for themselves. According to Sanccob their rangers on the island had been monitoring the situation and with the chick’s parents have not returned, for unknown reasons, the decision was taken to intervene,” said Van Eyssen. Reasons for the parent’s absence is being investigated by Sanccob
Sanccob rangers and Robben Island Museum staff gathered the chicks and stationed them into 16 boxes to be brought to Sanccob for care and protection. To assist with transport of chicks from the island to the mainland, the sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom was launched, accompanied by a Sanccob member.
“On arrival at the island, they were transported to a location on the northern side of the Island by Robben Island Museum staff. While at the scene our NSRI crew assisted Sanccob rangers, Two Oceans Aquarium staff and Robben Island Museum staff to collect more of the Cape cormorant chicks that were placed into boxes” said Van Eyssen.
In a statement, Sanccob said: “Each chick is being assessed and hydrated on admission and our team of staff, interns and volunteers are giving 110% to their care and accommodation. We will keep you informed of the findings of researchers and veterinary staff in the days ahead”.
A team from Sanccob, Two Oceans Aquarium and Robben Island Museum staff remained on-site to monitor the situation and if the chick’s parents don’t return more chicks may need to be taken into the care of Sanccob.