Oiled African penguins rescued in CT

Rescued penguins recover at the Sancobb seabird centre in Cape Town on 3 September 2012 after another oil leak from the wreck of the Seli 1 off Bloubergstrand. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - At least 15 African penguins have been rescued during mop-up operations in the Bloubergstrand area.

Oil was released when rough seas pounded the Seli1 on Friday, damaging a crane on board.

The inclement weather also resulted in the wreck breaking into three pieces.

The Turkish bulk carrier ran aground in bad weather back in 2009.

While more than a dozen African penguins have been rescued, conservation group Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sanccob) said it expects more animals to arrive at its Table View premises throughout the week.

Rehabilitation manager Nicky Stander said the rescued penguins are in a stable condition.

“We normally assess them before we start the washing process.”

She explains the lengthy process to remove the sticky black sludge will only commence later.

“We’ll remove the oil and they’ll be dried overnight.”

Stander said all spills are problematic because the African penguin faces extinction.

Cape Town officials have reiterated they are doing their best to prevent further harm to marine life.