Birdworld in Farnham has donated £2,000 to an emergency wildlife response mission to save more than 1,200 surviving Cape cormorant chicks out of an estimated 1,700 birds that were abandoned in South Africa.

Earlier this month, the surviving endangered chicks were successfully rescued from Robben Island and Jutten Island – two islands off the west coast of South Africa – by the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) in Cape Town.

The abandoned chicks were found in a serious condition since they are too young to feed themselves.

Birdworld’s Conservation Fund made a vital donation to support the cost of the second largest seabird rescue in Cape Town to date.

All the rescued chicks have been admitted to SANCCOB’s hospital to receive the necessary rehabilitative care until they can be released into the wild in three months’ time.

Duncan Bolton, curator at Birdworld, said: “It is still unclear why these birds were abandoned, but it is suspected it was down to lack of food in the area. We have a strong relationship with SANCCOB, having partnered with them in the past. Some of our keepers have even taken part in their zoo keeper exchange programme, aiding in chick rearing and adult rehabilitation.

“We are proud to say that despite this being a challenging time for Birdworld, because of our temporary closure, we are able to continue delivering the highest level of care to our animals and support emergency relief projects such as this. Our donation will go a long way to support the rehabilitation of the endangered birds, as well as provide the necessary food, medication and extra staff.”,

Since Birdworld’s Conservation Fund was launched in 2008, it has raised more than £90,000 to aid projects both in the UK and overseas. Conservation and animal welfare are main priorities for the team and remain at the centre of everything they do at the park.

Because of the current national lockdown in England, Birdworld remains temporarily closed.

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