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Injured Albatross released safely off Durban’s shores

Yellow-nosed Albatrosses are found throughout the southern Indian Ocean and are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red list.

A JUVENILE Indian yellow-nosed Albatross, named Emily, was released by members of the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (Saambr) and the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Durban last week.

Emily had been admitted into the care of the uShaka Sea World animal health team after she was found sitting on the upper deck of a cargo vessel which had recently entered the Durban harbour.

Saambr spokesperson Ann Kunz said Emily was full of energy when she was admitted into their care.

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“We offered supportive care until we could release her. With the kind assistance of the Durban NSRI team, we released Emily after she was given a clean bill of health. We would like to thank everyone involved in her successful rehabilitation and release,” she said.

Kunz added that yellow-nosed Albatrosses are found throughout the southern Indian Ocean and are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red list due to the decline in their numbers as a result of interactions with fishery activities and disease.

NSRI spokesperson, Craig Lambinon, explained how Emily was released out at sea.

“In favourable sea conditions with about an eight to 10 knot wind, the volunteers held the bird up, facing into the wind, gently throwing her up into the air in the hopes that she would catch the headwind that may have given her enough lift to take flight. But instead of taking flight she promptly landed in the water.

“From a safe distance, we watched her bobbing up and down on the sea swells. She then used a gentle headwind, and with a few steps on the water and some wing extensions she gathered momentum and took flight into the clear blue skies of Durban,” he said.


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At the time of going to press, the contents of this feature mirrored South Africa’s lockdown regulations.

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