27 May 2011

Penguin Promises: Waddle for a Week Day 5 (27 May 2011)

Renée Leeuwner

Two Oceans Aquarium Assistant Communications and Sustainability Manager Renée Leeuwner is a keen blogger, a member of the Aquarium’s Green Team and the voice behind our Twitter profile. Renée has joined Two Oceans Aquarium Senior Bird Trainer Hayley McLellan and uShaka Sea World’s Gabby Harris as they Waddle for the African penguin; she’ll be live-blogging and tweeting about the Waddle on the road!

Survival is a group effort

This morning’s drive from Betty’s Bay to Gordon’s Bay, via Clarence Drive, must be one of the most beautiful drives in South Africa. Everyone sat in awe of the amazing scenery, with the sheer cliffs dropping off to the sea on the one side and the mountain rising solidly and steadfast on the other. Soon these waters will play host to the annual migration of the southern right whales and tourists, local and foreign, will flock to see these giants of the oceans frolic in their watery home.

For now, though, the sea lay like a mirror spread out before us, reminding us that there is so much more than meets the eye. 

Below the surface of its blue-black water animals, so unlike us humans, live, breath, breed and survive – every day.  We were reminded that even though we consider ourselves intelligent and capable of higher thinking, we are creating more problems for ourselves, and for nature, than we are able to solve.

This is going to catch up with us, and I am afraid it will be sooner rather than later. We need to make a change. We need to take a stand. We need to relook, rethink and re-adjust our daily lives in order for change to ripple through our neighbourhoods, communities, towns, government, countries, continents – the world! There is a saying: “Peace is a group effort”; well, I believe in our current environmental climate that, “Survival is a group effort.”

In Gordon’s Bay, the Waddlers took to the road and followed it all the way to the Strand where they walked next to the beach, accompanied by hooting and cheering from motorist. The Waddlers walked to the Somerset Mall and from there we drove to Muizenberg. Today’s walk covered the shortest distance of the entire trek. Well deserved after the incredible distance the seven Waddlers have already covered.

Tomorrow morning we will take on the last leg of the Waddle: From Muizenberg to Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town. Please join us on this leg. We will be leaving at 08h00 from Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg and would love it if everyone can wear black and white in solidarity with the Penguin Promises cause.

Tonight is going to be a very special night.  Gabrielle Harris (uShaka Sea World), one of the Waddlers,  has written an incredible book about animal training and how it is so much more than technique, it is a connection between animal and human – a very special connection. The book launch is tonight and the Waddle team will be there to support her. We can’t wait!

The Waddle team would like to thank Bayside Beach House for their hospitality while we were in Betty’s Bay.

The Waddlers would also like to extend their sincere appreciation and thanks to Donn and Marie Ingle for their incredible support during the first five days of the Waddle. From making signs to bringing us refreshments and walking with us, you have been amazing! Thank you!

Seven Waddlers from various organisations (Two Oceans Aquarium, uShaka Sea World, National Zoological Gardens Pretoria, SANCCOB and Gold Reef City) are walking from Gansbaai to Simon’s Town to raise awareness about the plight of the African penguin. Pledge your support by sending an SMS with the keyword PENGUIN, followed by your promise, to 34008. Follow them on Twitter @penguinpromises, Facebook and www.penguinrpomises.com.

Penguin promises: Waddle for a Week

More blogs about the African penguin

More blogs by Renée

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