A new documentary coming to Netflix on June 16 will dive deep into the lives of the African penguins living in Simon’s Town. This eight-part series from Red Rock Films takes a look at their feeding, mating and breeding activities while shedding light on the threats these birds face.
‘You’ve never met penguins like these before. Forget ice and snow, this rowdy colony of African penguins is hitting the sun-drenched beaches and breaking all the rules. Films about the real lives of African penguins bring flipper-flapping fun and drama,’ Netflix promises.
Take a look at the trailer for Penguin Town:
The plight of the African penguin
African penguins have been nearly wiped out by a range of human activities over the years. The breeding population reached an extreme low of 20,850 pairs in the world in 2019, according to a journal article published in 2020.
The population has since steadily increased and today, an estimated 41,700 breeding pairs inhabit the coasts of southern Africa, reports Birdlife, but the species is still listed as Endangered.
What can we do?
The easiest way to contribute to the conservation of these waddlers? It’s simple. When visiting, keep your distance. The number of penguins who die as a result of humans who come too close, chasing them into the water during moulting season when they shed all their feathers, is staggering. Human presence, such as kids who chase them or throw rocks at them, can also disturb their daily activities and necessary processes or even injure them.
Keep your dogs on a leash. Dogs often destroy their nests and eggs, preventing the crucial reproduction of this endangered species. Minimising human interference is one of the most effective ways to ensure the conservation of these birds.
You can also support one of the numerous non-profits who work with them to conserve the species and to rehabilitate injured birds like SANCCOB or the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation.
The Netflix series, Penguin Town kicks off on June 16. Tune in!
Cruising Cape Town’s kelp forests