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Save the Penguins – 15,000 taken for cleaning

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Wildlife experts and volunteers are working to rescue thousands more jackass penguins from an oil spill off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, Reuters reported June 27.

The South African National Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds said in a statement that it expected to rescue at least 10,000 more birds from Robben Island by the end of the week. About 4,500 of the birds have already been taken for a clean-up.

The foundation has said it hopes to evacuate the entire colony of 20,000 birds for de-oiling and to clean up the island for their return.

The group has taken 160 clean birds up the coast to release them at Cape Recife near Port Elizabeth on Wednesday morning. The birds are expected to swim back to Robben Island in 10 or 12 days, by which time conservationists hope to have the beaches clean.

The jackass penguins, also known as African penguins, have been under threat since Friday when a tanker carrying 1,400 tonnes of fuel sunk off of Cape Town. They are Africa’s only penguins, and number about 150,000 total.

The rescue operation is expected to cost three to four million rand, or $440,000 to $588,000 and the foundation has appealed to the public for donations.

For full text, go to Altavista.

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