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Focus now on flamingo eggs

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The focus of the rescue mission would now move back to Kamfers Dam, where there are thousands of eggs which are expected to hatch in the coming days

AIRLIFT: 550 flamingo chicks were taken to Cape Town yesterday afternoon for further care. Picture: Supplied

THE THOUSANDS of rescued flamingo chicks from Kamfers Dam near Kimberley have made national headlines after they were saved from certain death and flown to new homes across the country.

Following a massive rescue mission by a local NPO, SaamStaan Kimberley, 870 newborn chicks from Kamfers Dam, where declining water levels resulted in them being abandoned by their parents, were on Friday airlifted to a rehabilitation site in Pretoria belonging to criminal investigator Mike Bolhuis.

Yesterday, 900 more chicks were transferred from the Kimberley SPCA to three sites across South Africa. The uShaka Sea World in Durban yesterday received 250, while the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds welcomed 550 and the World of Birds took in 100.

A local mining company, Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture (KEM-JV), covered the costs of the air travel for all the trips.

SaamStaan Kimberley spokesperson, Linja Allen, said yesterday that a headcount was expected to be done of the chicks remaining at the Kimberley SPCA yesterday afternoon and that these chicks would most probably be moved to the Pretoria site.

She added that the focus of the rescue mission would now move back to Kamfers Dam, where there are thousands of eggs which are expected to hatch in the coming days.

“We are now preparing ourselves to be 100 percent ready to accommodate the newly-hatched chicks. We are preparing for a worst-case scenario and realise that the catastrophe is far from over,” Allen said.

She added that experts have warned that if Kamfers Dam does not receive water within the next two weeks, between 6 000 and 8 000 young flamingoes, that are not yet able to fly, could possibly also be abandoned by their parents, who would leave in search of adequate water sources.

uShaka Sea World yesterday called on members of the public to volunteer for feeding and other duties for a minimum of three hours per shift between 7am and 9pm.

If you are willing to assist, please contact Bianca Harwood (073 1677 129) from Sea World, who is co-ordinating volunteers.

World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary also appealed to the public for assistance and support in rearing the 100 birds it received and listed the following as needed to care for the chicks: non-slip matting, non-slip trays, shade cloth, deveined and shelled prawns, pilchards, frozen bait, Nestum baby formula and eggs.

Any financial contributions can be made to https://www.backabuddy.co.za/world-of-birds-wildlife-sanctuary or World of Birds, Absa, Sea Point, 4061152694, SWIFT CODE – ABSAZAJJ and use Flamingo as reference.