“We must strive to touch the land gently and care for it as true stewards, that those who follow us and assess our records may see that our mark on the land was one of respect and love, not cruelty and disdain."

Roger Tory Peterson

Many animals get injured or ill and the LBRCT is the first line of aid.

The LBRCT is not a registered or qualified rehabilitation centre, but does assist CapeNature and other rehabilitation organizations by providing first aid and transport for injured animals to the correct organizations or rehabilitation centres. Animals are usually treated for a few days and released as soon as possible.

Please do not hesitate to contact the LBRCT if you observe or rescue an animal in distress.

You may contact us on 028 530 1296 / 079 974 2014

 

What to do:

1)    Wild animals carry diseases and bacteria that can be harmful to humans and vice versa – do not touch the animal.

 

2)    Assess the situation and let us know;

-          What animal is it? What species? Is it a dangerous species?

-          What is wrong? Is it dead?

-          Where exactly are you?

3)    Crowd control: ensure the animal, particularly if it is alive, has space. Large crowds stress animals. Stay with the animal if possible.

 

I have found an animal in distress, now what?


Not all birds found on the coast are in need of assistance. Please let us know immediately if you observe a bird in distress.

Penguins come ashore to moult and at these times they need to be out of the water as their waterproofing is compromised. Penguins in moult do not need any assistance, but rather need to be left alone and not disturbed.

Gulls, oystercatchers, cormorants, terns and waders are naturally found on the coastline and care should therefore be taken before attempting to catch these birds.

Generally, when albatrosses, petrels, shearwaters, gannets and pelicans are found along the coast, they are in need of help.

Penguins, gannets and cormorants have sharp beaks. Do not try catch or handle them without expert help.

 

If the LBRCT is not available alternatively you may contact:

SANCCOB (Seabirds, based in Cape Town): 021 557 6155

African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (Seabirds, based in Kleinbaai): 072 598 7117

Cape Nature: 028 713 2366

 


Please let us know immediately if you observe a seal that seems to be in distress.

Seals are commonly found resting on the beaches and rocks. These animals also generally will have open wounds that are not life threatening. An animal may only need help if it is showing signs of malnutrition (exposed ribs, saggy skin) or sickness (coughing, foamy nostrils etc).

Remember seals are dangerous and live seal may just be resting so do not get too close, best practice is not to approach the animal.

If the LBRCT is not available alternatively you may contact:

Department of Environmental Affairs: 086 111 2468

 

 


Please let us know immediately if you observe a stranded whale or dolphin.

When a dead whale or dolphin strands, it is important to control crowds, especially if the animal is alive. For this reason, it is important to have assistance from other organizations such as the NSRI. Marine mammals can also carry diseases and pathogens that are harmful to humans, so even if the animal is dead, insure that people do not touch the animal unnecessarily.

Remember, old age and illness are natural causes of death, which are often the reason for a stranding.

Remember, even a small dolphin is very strong, heavy and powerful – be careful!

 

Do stay calm and quiet, move slowly.

Do call for assistance – give your name, contact details, location and description of the animal.

Do stay with the animal until help arrives.

Do place a wet towel over it. Keep the blowhole clear!

Do crowd control – minimize stress to the animal.

Don’t move, touch, swim with or feed the animal – it is illegal under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Don’t enter the water.

Don’t stand near the tail

Don’t cover or pour water over or down the blowhole

Don’t put sunscreen on the animal.

Don’t crowd the animal.

 

If the LBRCT is not available alternatively you may contact:

Department of Environmental Affairs: 086 111 2468

NSRI: 082 990 5957

 


Very little is known about the jelly fish species that occur in the Breede river estuary. The university of the Western Cape (UWC) and the LBRCT are working together to gain more understanding about the Jellyfish species in the estuary during the summer months. If a large bloom is reported or a large number of sightings recorded it should be investigated by the rangers as this is the best opportunity to collect samples.

If you observe a jelly fish bloom, please let us know!

 


The LBRCT does have rangers qualified in snake handling. In the event that you have a snake on your property or observe a snake that may be at risk from members of the public please do not hesitate to contact us and we will relocate the animal to a safer location for you and the snake!

Please do not try catch snakes, it is only natural for them to defend themselves.

If the LBRCT is not available alternatively you may contact:

Cape Nature: 028 713 2366

 


What is the difference?
In Afrikaans all three of these animals are collectively known as ‘skilpad’.  They all under the class of reptiles, in the taxonomic order of Testudines or Chelonia (which comes from the Greek word ‘kelone’, meaning interlocking shields or armor).

These reptiles are cold-blooded (eco-therms), have scales, breathe air, and lay eggs on land.

 

Tortoises

Tortoises are almost exclusively land-dwelling animals. They have stubby feet, and aren’t good swimmers. In saying that, they will occasionally enter water bodies to clean themselves off or drink water, but could easily drown in the deep or in strong currents.

Please do not try and put a tortoise into the estuary, it may drown. Their bodies are not adapted to live in water.

If you see a tortoise crossing the road slow down and if possible stop traffic till it has crossed over. These slow-moving friends are often victim to hit-and-runs.

If you try and move a tortoise please be aware that it may urinate on you, don’t hold this against it, it’s just stage fright and a natural defense mechanism.

If the LBRCT is not available alternatively you may contact (if the animal is in distress):

Cape Nature: 028 713 2366

 

Terrapins

Terrapins are semi-aquatic turtles that live near brackish waters or swampy regions. They're sort of like a mix between a turtle and tortoise, as they spend most of their time divided between water and land.

If you see a terrapin crossing the road slow down and if possible stop traffic till it has crossed over. These slow-moving friends are often victim to hit-and-runs.

If you try and move a terrapin please be aware that it may bite, rather let it make its own way.

 

If the LBRCT is not available alternatively you may contact (if the animal is in distress):

Cape Nature: 028 713 2366

 

 

Turtles

Turtles are adapted to aquatic living; they are streamlined for swimming with long flippers. These ninja-warrior shelled friends are completely aquatic and rarely come up onto land, except to lay eggs or if it is in distress (turtles are often victim to boat propeller injuries or shark bites).

If you observe a turtle on the beach or in distress, please contact us immediately.

 

If the LBRCT is not available alternatively you may contact:

Two Ocean Aquarium: 021 418 3823

Department of Environmental Affairs: 086 111 2468