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|November 26 - Laurie Macha|
While the brunt of my day starts at 8am, an early 7am tube feeding is needed at this point. Today I worked with a fantastic, long-standing volunteer, Jennie. A lot of progress was made with the chicks, and many were moved to different pens depending on their status (which was positive!). Progress is also shown by a number of chicks that have decreased tube feeding formula from two times per day to one time per day.
My hands were quite sore today. I had to bandage up my fingers and wear a dive glove for protection. #600 is still in my pen area and is still a character! There are two resident Rockhopper penguins at SANCCOB (who are quite spoiled) and they get to spend their day wandering about the offices. They're very friendly and beautiful.
There were much fewer volunteers helping today, so I was shuffled around to help in other pen areas. I tubed so many birds again that I can't keep count. Two of our sub-pens were dispersed into advanced pens and the two pens were combined into one large pen for 60 birds. These birds are swimming birds and have access to an adjacent pool. They are all fully fledged birds with a yearling and one adult. Some of the birds in this pen have injuries (a bite to the back and stomach, a broken foot, and a few bumblefoot cases). These birds are very strong, so when it came to force feeding pilchards, many ate on their own and those that didn't gave quite a beating!
I'm going in at 7am again tomorrow and was told that I will be supervising Pen 10 with one volunteer to help. I'm very excited about this opportunity and feel greatly privileged to be given this responsibility. My stamina has wavered a little today.....I haven't adjusted to the time difference and can't sleep at night. I am very sore from all of the bending, squatting and lifting of equipment and birds - no need to go to a gym for a workout!
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving - I had a great one!
Skittish African Penguins cross a road on Robben Island in South Africa.
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