29 April 2013

Waddle for a Week 2013 – Day Five

Katja Rockstroh

Two Oceans Aquarium Environmental Education Centre P.A. to Head of Education Katja Rockstroh was on the road last week, live-tweeting and blogging from the annual Waddle for a Week for the African penguin.

It had been a great week, and it was weird to think that we were about to embark on the second last day of the Waddle for a Week campaign.

We enjoyed a relaxing stay at the end of day four at Erica and Hilbre, two houses that are part of Whale of a Time accommodation.

All photos by Katja Rockstroh
Thank you to Candice for her hospitality.

After a quick breakfast, the team enjoyed a lovely scenic drive from Betty’s Bay to Gordon’s Bay.

There is always time for a group photo.
Promise, our original mascot from the first waddle, didn’t want to be left out of the limelight.

We were greeted by another group of Cape Nature staff members, who walked with us the whole way. Thanks guys – it has been awesome to have you on our waddles.

We also had another young participant, who managed to get one of our penguin badges for himself.

The waddlers set off at 10am on day five, a welcome change to our usual early mornings. With everyone ready, we set off through Gordon’s Bay, hoping to get as many hoots as possible. Day five was a short walk (only 11km), and the team made it to the Gordon’s Bay main road in no time.

Our “Hoot for Penguins” signs definitely worked – motorists responded well to our large group.
Promise in the thick of the action today; here, a thank you to our sponsors, Chrysler Jeep Newlands, for the two vehicles that we received for the week.

The team made it to the Strand beachfront, with many motorists and people showing their support.

Hayley made sure our signs were visible to all cars.
Day five ended with ice cream for everyone –  something Tarryn Abrahams, from uShaka Sea World, was very happy about.

The day, however, was not quite over … there was a surprise for our hardworking waddlers: the team was invited to visit the new Cheetah Outreach premises, just next door to the Somerset West mall.

Elina, our expert Cheetah Outreach intern from Belgium, showed us around and told us about the different animals on the premises.

We got to see some …

... bat-eared foxes ...

... as well as servals, caracals and jackals. These animals are often wounded by traps on farms and sometimes shot by farmers who consider them a threat to the livestock.

Part of alleviating unnecessary cheetah and other animal killings on farms is to donate Anatolian shepherds to farmers. These dogs are originally from Turkey, and are well suited to guarding livestock from predators. The Anatolian dog project has already shown a decrease in the number of unnecessary cheetah killings.

This is Jeanee, one of the Anatolian shepherds that we were allowed to pet.

The highlight for many was meeting one of the cheetahs at Cheetah Outreach. Here are Hayley and I, with Joseph and his keeper.

It was a great day for the waddlers, with a lot of support from people on the route and an amazing surprise at the end.

Penguin Promises supports Cheetah Outreach all the way, and we think you should too. All proceeds of the Cheetah Encounters go directly to its education project and Anatolian dog projects.

The last day of the waddle was to take place on April 27 – Freedom Day. A lovely coastal walk from Muizenberg’s Surfers’ Corner to Simon’s Town’s Boulders Beach penguin colony awaited us.

Please follow us on Twitter, or go check out www.penguinpromises.com and make your Penguin Promise.

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