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|November 27 - Laurie Macha|
Today was my first day as a pen 10 supervisor, which includes sections A-D. To start, A had 20, B had 10, C had 20 and D had 22 for a total of 72 chicks. B and D were on twice a day formula, while A and C were on once a day formula.
My day started at 7am to begin the BID formula tube feedings for pens B and D. When I entered pen B, there was one little chick that was lying down while the rest of the chicks were huddled together. This chick was rather scrawny, covered in guano and other chicks were picking on it. The chick tubed fine but when I set it down it immediately laid back down and looked rather weak. I let Venessa know and the chick was immediately moved to the “weakie” pen. When I went to feed formula to pen D, I had a very late start because more formula needed to be made. I was behind by an hour just to start the morning off.
One of the penguins with the bites to its back and chest was found dead in pen 3 this morning. We work very hard and put so much effort into these chicks, but sometimes it just doesn't work for them to survive. It leaves our hearts heavy to see what these little ones have to go through in their life. The efforts and skill that SANCCOB use each day to help turn this species around is worth its weight in gold. I have the utmost admiration for everyone here and what they are going through. I'm so proud that Mystic Aquarium has a partnership with SANCCOB and that we are so committed to conservation that we send staff to help assist the folks here.
Today was the most challenging that I've experienced so far because pen D really had me worried. By the end of the day, these birds all started to look a little better. I will be working in pen 10 again tomorrow since I have a pretty good feel for the individuals in the groups. It was an incredibly grueling day – hopefully tomorrow will be a little easier.
I went to Venessa's house tonight for a South African brie. It was out of this world. According to our host, a South African brie consists of grilled meat (of which we had lamb, sausage and chicken), potato salad and bread. What a feast! Venessa, Margaret, Nola and Peter were there. We had great food, good company and ice cream with chocolate sauce for desert. Tomorrow is another day…
Skittish African Penguins cross a road on Robben Island in South Africa.
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