Durban’s Ushaka Marine World has become part of one of the biggest rehabilitation operations to date after 250 rescued flamingo chicks arrived by plane from Kimberley in the Northern Cape. An estimated 2 000 chicks were rescued at the weekend when the adults moved away from their nests on the dried up Kamfers Dam and the chicks started dying from the heat.

Kamfers Dam is one of only six breeding sites of the lesser flamingo worldwide.

Ushaka Sea World veterinarian Caryl Knox says they had to get everything ready at short notice on Monday to hand-rear some of the rescued chicks.

He says, “This is the biggest, this is the biggest. In a year when we do rehabilitation on our penguins, they usually come in our stranding season, which is June, July and August. In one year, we would probably get three or maybe five in a busy year. So to get 250 is on a different scale, it’s huge. But, yes, the staff just pulled together – they realise the seriousness of the operation and people are just giving it their all, which is nice.”