African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary Welcomes New Manager

November 21, 2016 Brenda du Toit

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust is pleased to welcome Theanette Staal to the team. Theanette will take on the role of Manager at the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary.

Theanette has a BA in Political Science but realised her true calling was with animals. After obtaining a certificate in field guiding she went on to gain a University diploma in Veterinary Nursing and is a registered veterinary nurse with the SA Vet Council. Theanette also studied for a certificate in Osteoarthritis management in small animals (Incl. Physical Rehabilitation). Theanette has had a varied career from guiding overland trips and working at a ski resort in the USA to working as a night sister in the UK, and night ICU sister at Onderstepoort . She has physical rehabilitation experience having worked at a small animal rehabilitation clinic.

Theanette’s last position was at the Donkey Sanctuary in McGregor as donkey care manager where she also co-presented "animal welfare assessment" workshops to animal welfare, law enforcement and donkey rescue organisations.

Theanette is just as excited to be working at APSS, “I grew up with a love and respect for nature and enjoyed some overland guiding for a while. I always loved animals and had a special bond with them, but especially with penguins and donkeys. Since working with penguins for the first time in 2007 at Penguins Eastern Cape, it's been a dream to have the opportunity to work with them in a permanent capacity. My main vision has always been to "Make a difference" through whatever I do, wherever I am.”

Theanette had perfect timing and arrived at the same time as the abandoned African penguin chicks off Dyer Island. As the adult penguins go into their annual molt and are unable to feed their late bred chicks, we take over that job for them. It is critical we are able to feed and strengthen these penguin chicks to be able to release them back on Dyer Island to become the next breeding generation. With a brood of over 50 penguins to look after at the moment, Theanette has been full steam ahead. Trudi Malan who has been working at the sanctuary will continue to represent the Trust at penguin forums.

The African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary is open every day with feeding times of 9h00 and 15h00 that can be observed. Coffee shop and curio shop on site.  Penguin rescue line: 0725987117