SANCCOB (The Southern African Foundation For The Conservation Of Coastal Birds) believes that Simon's Town needs more stringent dog walking regulations after 19 endangered penguins perished due to negligent dog ownership.
On Friday, October 28, two huskies are said to have broken free from their Simon's Town property and caused mayhem by attacking and killing 19 penguins at Seaforth Beach, including two chicks.
In the aftermath of the Simon's Town penguin tragedy, a 'dog walking review' is being called.
According to SANCCOB, this was not the first time dogs had attacked penguins nearby. "We vehemently denounce irresponsible pet owners who must be held accountable for the tragic incident."
Unfortunately, this attack on a penguin by a dog in Simon's Town is not the first of its kind; these incidents could have been prevented.
The incident has shocked and saddened everyone who tirelessly works to protect this endangered seabird, whose populations are declining at an alarming rate and are at their lowest levels ever.
The penguins' neck, abdomen, and groin regions reportedly sustained significant wounds, according to SANCCOB. The Penguin & Seabird Rangers at SANCCOB and the City of Cape Town's Coastal Management Branch transported the dead penguins there as part of an incident investigation.
The clinical veterinarian at SANCCOB describes the penguins' lower bodies as having severe bite marks and puncture wounds. In addition, however, several penguins' necks, abdomens, and groin regions were severely injured.
"Among the carcasses discovered were two African penguin chicks, confirming that predation occurred on land as these chicks would not have been seaworthy."
SANCCOB is currently requesting that Simon's Town's dog walking areas be reviewed by Cape Town City and the South African National Parks (SANParks).
"Measures must be taken to prevent additional dog attacks; we beg the SANParks and City of Cape Town to urgently review areas in Simon's Town and the surrounding areas where dogs are currently walked and increase enforcement of non-compliance offenders."
Last week, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA took the dogs from their owners after an eyewitness reported the incident. Good Hope Cape Jaco Pieterse, the chief inspector of the SPCA, said they are now awaiting the verdict of the case, which has been turned over to authorities.
The incident was witnessed by an eyewitness, who provided an affidavit to the SPCA. "It was reported that two husky-type dogs were seen at Seaforth beach attacking various penguins."
Seaforth Beach is a popular nesting site for approximately 150 endangered African penguins, and it borders Boulders Beach, a world-famous African penguin breeding colony.
"The City of Cape Town impounded the dogs by the Animal Keeping By-law, with assistance from Cape of Good Hope SPCA Inspectors. The SPCA will ensure justice for these penguins who died due to irresponsible dog owners."
"We don't think the dogs are to blame, but we will hold their irresponsible owners accountable," Pieterse said. "A docket has been opened against the owners at Simon's Town Police Station by Law Enforcement."
"The investigation is over to the law enforcement." We are waiting to hear the outcome of the case."