Cape Town’s wandering penguins

Residents of the Boulder's Beach area about 100km south of Cape Town complain that thousands of penguins have "invaded" residential areas and are causing destruction.

Boulder's Beach is known for its colony of about 3,000 African Penguins, an endangered species whose natural reserve is fenced off to protect the birds from human activity and pollution.

Residents blame the penguin's wandering ways on the poorly-maintained fence which was designed to keep the birds from straying inland, but which locals claim is full of holes.

Resident of nearby Betty's Bay say that the penguins have increased in the last two years, leaving droppings and making excessive noise, especially at night.

However the South African Foundation for the Conservation for Coastal Birds (SANNCOB) disagrees and says Cape Town's African Penguin population has decreased by 90 per cent in the last century, and is threatened primarily by the encroachment of humans, commercial over-fishing and pollution.

Local authorities say that plans are in place to extend the fence to prevent penguins from reaching residential areas.