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Stolen Penguin Can't Survive in the Wild, Activists Warned

Image: Stolen Penguin Can't Survive in the Wild, Activists Warned

An African penguin is pictured at Table Mountain National Park in South Africa in 2010. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 12:19 PM

A stolen penguin can’t survive in the wild, according to officials at a South African marine park, where the bird was stolen before being set free by activists.

The endangered penguin was taken by two activists who claim that stealing the African penguin, known as “Buddy,” was a demonstration against animals being held in captivity, BBC News noted.

Buddy, was born in the park, has no idea how to survive in the wild, and is considered an endangered species, BBC News reported. According to experts, the penguin might not last more than two more weeks before he’ll starve to death.

“He is completely ill-equipped to survive in the wild,” Dylan Bailey, manager of Bayworld in Port Elizabeth, said, according to BBC News. “He will have no idea where he is.”

Closed-circuit TV footage showed two students in their early 20s climbing into the marine park’s pool before putting Buddy in a car and driving him to a nearby sea, where they released him.

Even though the two students didn’t intend for any harm to befall Buddy, their actions could have some major consequences, according to Bailey.

Buddy is part of a breeding pair, and since his disappearance, one of the chicks he was looking after has died, BBC News noted.

The other paired penguin, known as Francis, is now unable to leave the nest without Buddy to relieve her. If Buddy and Francis don’t reunite, then pairing Francis with another mate could be virtually impossible.

“They are monogamous animals. They pair for life,” Bailey told BBC News. “If we can’t get Buddy back, we will try to pair her with another bird, but it may not be successful.”

The current search for Buddy is being conducted over hundreds of kilometers of coastline.

“We are optimistic,” Bailey said, according to the BBC. “We have hope he will come ashore before he becomes too weak.”

Buddy’s disappearance comes during a time where African penguins are about to be added to the critically endangered list, BBC News noted.

The marine park estimates that Buddy has about three weeks from the time he was stolen before he’s in danger of dying, India Live Today noted.

“Luckily, he was a very healthy penguin — actually quite fat — so he has a good few weeks of reserves,” Bailey said.

Twitter users expressed concern about the stolen penguin.

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A stolen penguin can't survive in the wild, according to officials at a South African marine park, where the bird was stolen before being set free by activists.
stolen, penguin, activists, survive
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2016-19-28
Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 12:19 PM
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