Reuters - Video

Edition: U.S. | U.K. | IN | CN

Sports and Leisure

Cape Town stand-off pits penguins against people

Tuesday, November 06, 2012 - 02:40

Nov. 6 - Residents of Boulder's Beach near Cape Town are fuming over what they say is an invasion of endangered African penguins, in the latest episode of conflict between mankind and nature. The residents say the birds are threatening their health and their property while local authorities try to find a compromise solution that keeps the birds safe and the residents calm. Jim Drury has the story.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

To most people they're endearingly innocent...but to pensioner Barbara Wallers the African penguin is public enemy Number One. SOUNDBITE (English) BARBARA WALLERS, BETTY'S BAY RESIDENT SAYING: "Look what they have done to the bushes here, they have killed all the garden." The endangered bird is at the forefront of the latest conflict between mankind and nature playing out on South Africa's scenic Boulder's Beach. An oblivious penguin army numbering thousands have overwhelmed beach barriers and wandered inland onto properties. Waller says she's had enough. SOUNDBITE (English) BARBARA WALLERS, BETTY'S BAY RESIDENT, SAYING: "The stench, which stinks like hell, which is a health hazard, I get terrible Hay Fever, sore eyes, etcetera, etcetera. Then we have got all the Guano and the feathers and when the wind blows we get all this bloody black rubbish in our house, and the noise at night is unreal -- they bellow and bellow and bellow, I did not sleep last night from 3.45 the other morning." Boulder's beach is a nature reserve in the Betty's Bay area. It provides a safe haven for birds, protecting them from the effects of human settlement, commercial activities and pollution. But residents like Johannes Klopper say the birds are flocking inland in an unwitting land grab that's wreaking devastation on their land and property. He wants the local council to act fast. SOUNDBITE (English) JOHANNES KLOPPER, BETTY'S BAY RESIDENT SAYING: "The solution is that the municipality should keep the penguins located to their own property. I don't mind the penguins at all, if they are on the municipal property or on the nature conservation property, whichever authority takes responsibility for the penguins, as long as they are not on my own property and causing a disturbance and problems." Residents blame the invasion on inadequate, poorly maintained fencing, and accuse the authorities of breaking promises to fix them. Conservationist Margaret Roestorf says the African penguin population has decreased by 90 percent in the the past century. She's appealing for a common sense solution to the problem. SOUNDBITE (English) MARGARET ROESTORF, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SOUTH AFRICAN FOUNDATION FOR THE CONSERVATION FOR COASTAL BIRDS, (SANCCOB) SAYING: "It's a real sadness because there should be a co-existence between the penguins and the people. I think there are many people in Betty's Bay that absolutely adore the penguins, so I think it would be wonderful if the organisations that manage them which is Cape Nature Reserve and Overstrand and the people of Betty's Bay can take hands and this thing can quietly be resolved." The council says the fence will be repaired and extended soon, but until then they say, they're asking for cooler heads to prevail in the battle of Boulder beach.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Cape Town stand-off pits penguins against people

Tuesday, November 06, 2012 - 02:40

Editors' Picks »

Business »

Moving Pictures »

Images of December Images of December

Tue, 23 Dec, 2014 - (0:30)

Tsunami - unclaimed possessions Tsunami - unclaimed possessions

Tue, 23 Dec, 2014 - (2:23)

Images of November Images of November

Tue, 02 Dec, 2014 - (0:30)

Images of October Images of October

Mon, 03 Nov, 2014 - (0:57)

The world in a city The world in a city

Fri, 31 Oct, 2014 - (1:30)

Real-life superheroes Real-life superheroes

Tue, 28 Oct, 2014 - (1:44)

Dance of the northern lights Dance of the northern lights

Mon, 20 Oct, 2014 - (1:08)

Images of September Images of September

Thu, 02 Oct, 2014 - (1:00)

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, 05 Sep, 2014 - (2:05)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, 01 Sep, 2014 - (2:23)

Dateline Asia »

Samsung sees profits slide Samsung sees profits slide

Thu, 29 Jan, 2015 - (0:57)

Chinese firms on overseas shopping sprees Chinese firms on overseas shopping sprees

Thu, 29 Jan, 2015 - (2:28)

iPhone grabs top spot in China iPhone grabs top spot in China

Wed, 28 Jan, 2015 - (1:40)

Robot replacements for Foxconn's workers Robot replacements for Foxconn's workers

Wed, 28 Jan, 2015 - (1:12)

Alibaba could set sights on Yahoo Alibaba could set sights on Yahoo

Tue, 27 Jan, 2015 - (1:24)

Fashion designers finding haste makes waste Fashion designers finding haste makes waste

Tue, 27 Jan, 2015 - (2:07)

Be afraid, the Chinese are spending less Be afraid, the Chinese are spending less

Mon, 26 Jan, 2015 - (1:33)

Asia markets shrug at Greek elections Asia markets shrug at Greek elections

Mon, 26 Jan, 2015 - (1:36)

Asia markets toast ECB stimulus Asia markets toast ECB stimulus

Fri, 23 Jan, 2015 - (1:42)

Asia Week Ahead: Markets await Greece vote Asia Week Ahead: Markets await Greece vote

Fri, 23 Jan, 2015 - (1:18)

Reuters Investigates »

Where the sea is closing in Where the sea is closing in

Thu, 20 Nov, 2014 - (3:41)

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, 19 Feb, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, 10 Jan, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (13:22)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, 05 Aug, 2013 - (1:36)