A young flamingo was rescued in Kleinemonde near to Port Alfred on Wednesday.
Stephen Slade, NSRI Station 11 Port Alfred station commander, said:
At 14h45, Wednesday, 22 July, NSRI Port Alfred crew were activated following a request for assistance from an NSRI trainee crew lady Vivienne Dames reporting a Flamingo appearing to be injured at Kleinemonde near to Port Alfred.
While collecting red bait on the beach for a day of fishing, a Flamingo, appearing to be weak and dehydrated and crying, was following Vivienne and other fishermen around on the beach.
Vivienne, who is an Ichthyologist, noticed the little Flamingo, a fledgling, not yet pink and still sporting its fledgling brown colour, in the shore break, being dumped by waves, crying, and then following her and other fishermen around on the beach.
Knowing that Flamingos, normally found at the Swartkops area in Port Elizabeth, migrate North, mostly to Mozambique, in the Autumn, Vivian suspected that this little Flamingo had most likely been left behind during the Autumn migration period and attempts were made to catch the bird but it resisted a number of times so Vivian raised the alarm.
We dispatched our NSRI sea rescue vehicle to the scene.
SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) were contacted and they advised us to capture the bird.
On our arrival on the scene we assisted Vivian in attempts that were made to catch the little bird. It took about 15 minutes to capture the bird into a box.
One of our crewmen has named the Flamingo Frank.
We transported Frank to SPCA Port Alfred and arrangements were made for SANCCOB to collect the bird for treatment and rehabilitation.
In an update from SPCA Port Alfred they have conveyed to NSRI that Frank is doing well and has been treated for dehydration during the night and was transported to Bayworld in Port Elizabeth into the care of SANCCOB on Thursday morning.
We believe the Flamingo will be rehabilitated at Bayworld before being released in the Spring to Swartkops at around the time Flamingo’s are expected to return from the North.
Our NSRI trainee crew Vivienne Dames is commended for her intervention to save the little Flamingo.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is the charity organisation that saves lives on South African waters – both coastal and inland. Our goal is to prevent drowning through rescue operations, education and prevention initiatives.
Operating from base stations along the SA coastline, and on inland dams, our rescue volunteers are on call, at all hours, every day of the year. Our rescue crew receives no payment and neither do we charge the people we rescue.
We visit schools around the country, teaching children about water safety. Our drowning prevention measures include our online training academy, with free courses for crew and the public, emergency signage, Pink Rescue Buoys for emergency flotation, rescue swimmers, lifeguards, and active patrols during peak seasons.
Our organisation is totally reliant on donations and sponsorships. This enables us to do the work of saving lives, changing lives, and creating futures.
You can do your bit to assist. Please visit www.nsri.org.za for more information.
SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY: 112 or 087 094 9774