(Little) Penguins need your help!

Burnie, Nuremberg, 10 February 2024
In January of this year, we were working as volunteers for the Penguin Rehab & Release ( Sanctuary in Burnie, Tasmania. 
Penguin Rehab and Release is the only facility in North West Tasmania dedicated to the rehabilitation of penguins (and other seabirds) who come into their care due to illness, injury or exhaustion, with the aim of preparing them for a successful release.
This year has been an above-average busy season for Penguin Rehab and Release, in which 33 penguins have already been successfully cared for, overseen and released back into their natural habitat. Currently, 16 penguins are still being cared for at the facility in order to regain their health and the strength for their release. Caring for such a large number of penguins is not only time-consuming, but also costly, and the organization's resources are currently almost exhausted.
The following article is therefore not only intended to report on our experiences in the care and reintroduction of sick, injured or exhausted penguins, but is also connected with the request for donations for this organization and its highly commendable work. Donations can be made by PayPal via the following link: Donate (PayPal) 
We are Isa and Volker, computer scientists and teachers from Nuremberg, Germany. About 20 years ago we met Gabriele and Werner Knauf, who were preparing us for our upcoming work as volunteers for a conservation project for Humboldt penguins in Punihuil, Chile. This grew into a friendship and passion for the penguins that continues to this day. We are founding members of "Sphenisco – Schutz des Humboldt-Pinguins e.V.", developed the homepage of the association and maintain it.
A sabbatical this year brought us as volunteers to the Little Penguins of Tasmania and to "Penguin Rehab and Release". With up to 20 injured, weakened penguins to care for, which are fed individually up to 5 times a day (and at night) and, above all, continuously excrete the digested fish as is typical for penguins, it’s real hard work.
A huge number of towels have to be cleaned daily to ensure the high hygiene standards of the facility, and not to endanger the health of the care penguins. The outdoor enclosure including the pool must also be cleaned daily and the sand there loosened. Fish must be prepared, as well as liquids to rehydrate severely weakened newcomers and fish broth for those who cannot yet tolerate solid food. "Bella", a young female penguin with a head injury and resulting balance problems, receives daily physiotherapy and her progress is remarkable. And and and ...
But when you bring a fit little penguin to the beach early in the morning before sunrise and feel its irrepressible excitement when it feels the sea, then you know that all the work has been worth it!
Penguin Rehab & Release is a registered non-profit animal welfare organization. The bulk of the work at Penguin Rehab & Release is borne by Kathy Grieveson, founder of the facility and a trained and registered seabird keeper with permission from Wildlife Services, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Tasmania.
With an almost unbelievable energy and passion, she does most of the care work, sometimes with only a few hours of sleep a day. Kathy is an expert with an impressive expertise in penguin care and rehabilitation. The facilities on the grounds of her private home include a well-kept penguin enclosure with a pool. Hygiene standards are kept very high. The organization’s success rate is above average. So far, Kathy and her volunteers have been able to release well over 100 penguins back into the wild, which would otherwise have had no chance of survival.
As already described above, the financial situation of "Penguin Rehab & Release" is unfortunately critical at the moment. Also due to the above-average number of foster penguins, there was no time this year for continuous fundraising - which is existential for such organizations. The funds currently available are no longer sufficient for the current season; The cost of the fish alone to feed the initially mostly malnourished animals amounts to about 400 to 500 Australian dollars per week.
Even though they are not Humboldt penguins, Isa and I have decided in coordination with "Sphenisco e.V." to ask for support for "Penguin Rehab & Release" in this way as well. We find the work of "Penguin Rehab & Release" and Kathy and the volunteers extraordinarily impressive, professional and worthy of support. We have had impressive experiences on site in Tasmania regarding the exemplary work done here for the care and reintroduction of penguins and can report further if you are interested.
Any donation, small or large, one-time or repeated, is greatly appreciated; the easiest way to do this is via PayPal: btn donateCC LG
You are also welcome to share the links to the donation page, the homepage of "Penguin Rehab & Release" and the Facebook page. Since the work for the penguins comes first, the homepage is not always up-to-date, but you can also find out about the latest news via Facebook.
Thank you very much!
And also "Thank you for the fish" by Thelma and Louise, Bella, Tib, Harmony, Cliff, Thyla, Lazarus, Rocket, Angry Bird, ...
Isa and Volker
Translated by Erich Greiner


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