Thousands of visitors stream into Boulders Beach each day with many not respecting the three-metre distance boundary line clearly marked to protect the penguins and allow them their own space.

A number of people concerned with the wellbeing of the penguin colony at the famed beach have started campaigning against the terrible behaviour displayed by some tourists who visit the area.

Many visitors to the beach do not respect the space of the penguins and overstep the boundaries in order to snap a winning picture.

With between 2 000 and 5 000 visitors making their way to the beach each day – depending on the time of year – the stress placed on the small flightless birds is unbelievable when the rules aren’t adhered to. There is also only a small number of rangers in the area to protect them.

The African Penguin is an endangered species, and deserve special attention and care.

Speaking to IOL, SA National Parks spokesperson Lauren Clayton said: “We certainly don’t allow, nor do we encourage tourists to get too close to the penguins. We can’t, however, be everywhere at once, so people will take chances [in] getting close to the penguins when there’s no ranger around.”

All visitors to Boulders Beach are encouraged to keep at least two to three metres between them and the penguins, and to increase the distance as needed when a bird shows stress.

While the popular beach is a substantial tourist attraction, the birds that call it home are living creatures who deserve respect that outranks any photographic opportunity.

Picture: Twitter

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