Today, I adopted a penguin.
Today, 15 South African Travel Bloggers also adopted a penguin.
We gave her a name.
It is Latin for peace.
Because even though the world may not be a peaceful place, the name Pax reflects a hope that there are good times in the future.
Today, we adopted Pax.
Pax the Penguin.
SAMREC Port Elizabeth
Just a few minutes from the city centre of Port Elizabeth is SAMREC, a marine rehabilitation and education centre. SAMREC is situated in Cape Recife Nature Reserve and it is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick or injured marine birds.
It is a centre committed to educate young and old about the plight of the African Penguin. It is a place revealing the shocking truths and harsh realities, a place devoted and midst all the chaos, it is a beacon of hope.
The Critically Endangered African Penguin
In only 15 years the African Penguin breeding pairs have rapidly declined from 50 000 to less than 20 000.
Every week about 90 penguins die.
That’s 12 penguins a day. Gone. Forever.
The African Penguin is endangered.
The next step is extinction.
Possibly in 2025.
Because of pollution, commercial overfishing, oil spills, global warming as well as the previous practices of guano collection for artificial fertiliser and the removal of 13 million eggs from 1900-1930.
The African Penguin is endangered and needs your help.
Penguin Adoption SAMREC
Taking care of sick and injured marine birds requires money. Medicine, supplies, food, water, maintenance… it all costs money.
There are various ways to support SAMREC – you can visit the centre, volunteer, donate, attend their full moon walks, witness the release of the healthy penguins and you can also adopt a penguin for R1500 (the cost for successfully rehabilitating a penguin).
Yes, it’s quite steep if you didn’t budget on it. I thought so too.
R1500 stood out like a big old ugly number.
But with a little bit of a shuffle the numbers looked better. R150 looked doable and R100 was as easy pie. A few other penguin-loving travel bloggers thought exactly the same and after a quick e-mail here and a message there, 15 bloggers decided to adopt a penguin together.
R1500 ÷ 15 = R100 p.p.
Doable. Easy as pie. Done deal.
Because in the end, “you don’t need a lot to make a difference, you just need a little bit of yourself”.
Penguin it Forward
Every bird counts, every bit helps.
To help SAMREC and to help the African Penguin you can also Penguin it Forward. Gather your family, get together a few friends or colleagues and make your donation.
Give up one cappuccino and donate R25.
Give up a visit to the movie theater and donate R40.
Or even better, if you are in Port Elizabeth go to SAMREC, pay the R30 entrance fee and learn about the African Penguins and watch how they splish splash and widdle-waddle.
Every bird counts, every bit helps.
To find out more about SAMREC, visit www.samrec.org.za.
SAMREC is a marine rehabilitation and education centre in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve in Port Elizabeth. At SAMREC a group of dedicated volunteers work around the clock to rescue marine birds, nurse them back to health and to educate the public about the plight of the African Penguin.
If supporting SAMREC financially is not possible, why not support the environment by making a penguin promise?
Make a promise to say no to plastic products – no bags, straws, bottles or plastic cutlery.
Make a promise to not litter and to pick up litter when you see it.
Make a promise to use environmentally friendly household products.
For more ideas and to make your promise, visit the website of Penguin Promises at www.penguinpromises.com.
The Fight Against Extinction
There are hundreds of causes in South Africa fighting against the extinction of our beloved animals. United we stand for rhinos, vultures and other four or two-legged creatures.
We wave our flags and raise our voices and somewhere in the distance shots get fired because somehow, in some bizarre world (that we created), fingers are pointed when environmental issues are getting “too much” support.
In some bizarre world the fight over who is right and who is wrong trumps the plight of our animals, the pollution of our oceans and the deforestation of our land.
In some bizarre world the battles over language, race, religion, gender and political issues mute the voice of the voiceless.
In some bizarre world you have to defend your choice of supporting animals.
Because in this world we have the choice to leave the bizarrity behind, the choice to stand up and be the voice for the voiceless, the wings for the wingless, the horns for the hornless.
A Happy Flappy Flippy Floppy Thank You
I would like to thank all the volunteers, at SAMREC and at the other centres, for your passion, dedication and your generous hearts. You are all an example and an inspiration. I salute you.
Thank you to the South African travel bloggers who’ve made a contribution, a change and a choice to support the adoption of Pax the Penguin. Through the awareness you’ve created in your articles and blog post and the causes you’ve stood up for I’ve learned so much about being a more responsible human being.
Allison Foat – Cape Town Diva
Ankia Wolf – LekkeSlaap
Carla Lewis-Balden – Die Reismier
Darren Combrink – DC Tours
Dawn Jorgensen – The Incidental Tourist
Dee Lourens – The Good Holiday
Di Brown – The Roaming Giraffe
Heather Mason – 2 Summers – Read Heather’s post on SAMREC.
Iga Motylska – Eager Journeys
Kate Els – IndiKate
Linda Markovina – Moving Sushi
Louise de Waal – Green Girls in Africa
Meruschka Govender – Mzansi Girl
Rose Greyling Bilbrough – Go TravelBug SA
Sara Essop – In African and Beyond
Thank you to my awesome parents for also making a contribution.
And thank you to you reader for hopefully feeling inspired to bid your plastic straw adieu or to Penguin it Forward.