We have had an unprecedented predation event that saw five chicks disappear or found dead. Unfortunately some are known to you: Vivek's chick, Poppy's chick, Danni's chick and Bequette's chick (+ one more) are all gone. So we had to take the drastic measure of collecting all the other chicks up and put them into rehab - 46 of them. The picture shows Morgan's two chicks and Vivek's second chick. There are so few yellow-eyed penguins on the planet now that they are all so very, very precious and we could not leave them out there in the colony with a predator that can kill and drag away a 4kg chick that has a parent in attendance. Obviously after the first casualties we put out more traps, re-baited the old ones and Jo went shooting, but the risk was just too high. So we now have a kindergarten at our rehab facility - a bit like last year, just more of them.
So, what about your sponsored chick, parent or box. I have been taking a lot of photos over the last couple of weeks so I will be posting them until I run out. I will also post updates of sponsored chicks in rehab - be assured they are all perfectly safe there and well looked after: no predators and they are protected from mosquitos and Avian Malaria as well.
There is tiny silver lining in all of this: the parents are now free to look after themselves without the stress of having to feed their chicks. This will hopefully mean they can moult unassisted in the colony.
If you want to help, please consider making a donation towards food and medicine for the penguins. Avian Malaria meds are quite pricey and no one will go without, but it will help.