Earlier this year, a juvenile Cape Gannet was found by an employee at Isuzu Motors South Africa’s Struandale manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth. The weak and disorientated bird was rescued by members of the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB).
After less than a month of treatment the bird was healthy enough to be released back to its habitat, and the whole event led to the company supporting SANCCOB by providing the organisation with an Isuzu bakkie.
“In chatting to the SANCCOB staff we realised that many seabirds are endangered due to pollution – especially plastics that end up in the ocean. As an environmentally conscious manufacturer with extensive waste-management programmes, we were happy to support SANCCOB in its valuable work,” says Isuzu’s corporate communications manager, Gishma Johnson.
The bakkie will play a critical role in the rescue and transportation of endangered African penguin chicks and adult penguins, as well as other seabirds, for various rehabilitation-focused conservation activities.
“The new bakkie will enable us to continue to rescue, rehabilitate and release seabirds, and contribute towards saving the endangered African penguin and other seabirds. We are very grateful for the partnership with Isuzu,” says SANCCOB Eastern Cape manager, Stacey Webb.
In celebration of International African Penguin Awareness Day this past weekend, Isuzu staff and their families witnessed the first group of penguins to be released after being transported in an Isuzu bakkie.
“The beach release is a special occasion and the penguins have been swim-training for three hours daily so that they can make it to Bird Island safely,” says Webb.
Employees and their families were also involved in the recent International Coastal Clean-up Day on the Cape Recife coast, where they filled a one-tonne Isuzu bakkie with waste found on the beach – including plastic, glass, gut, rope, metal and cans.