Question: What do you a call a penguin at the North Pole?
Answer: Lost, because penguins only live in the Southern Hemisphere!

One of the most adorable birds around gets it’s own day today – and here in Cape Town we are fortunate enough to have small colonies of these lovable feathered friends residing in select spots around our coastline.

It’s World Penguin Day, a day where we acknowledge the plight of these marine birds. Sadly populations are in a great decline. There are an estimated 17 species residing around southern parts of the globe, with habitat loss, pollution and climate change negatively impacting their populations. Can you imagine Cape Town without them? I certainly cannot. Our local species, the African Penguin, also known as the Jackass Penguin due to the braying call which resembles that of a donkey or ass, is a welcome sight for travellers visiting Boulder’s Beach and Betty’s Bay.

Penguins along the Burgher’s Walk on Boulders Beach, Simon’s Town.

So why is World Penguin Day on the 25th of April? The answer is that it coincides with the annual migration of certain species. Although flightless on land, penguins can be considered as underwater flyers, and if you have ever seen how gracefully they glide through the undercurrents you will know what I mean.

Let’s spare a thought for our little tuxedo-clad friends today – because one day they may be no more. Estimations predict a 60% population decline before the end of the century.

Photography HM Images

Article written by

Justin Williams

Justin Williams is a born-and-bred Capetonian with a flair for writing. His icons include the late South African authors Lawrence Green, Eric Rosenthal and T.V. Bulpin, literary figures who continuously inspire him to cover the avenues of lifestyle, travel and nature in a local context. When Justin's not covering a story, he can be found in the mountains - he's a renowned wild food forager and is currently learning herbalism.