Sooty Tern visits Kruger – January 2012

Another story from Elize’s archives – this one is from the January 2012 floods.

“I need to share this with you even though it’s a year back but I think it’s a special story. Meet Meeu the Sooty Tern.


This is unbelievable. This Sooty Tern landed in Letaba on Wednesday 18 January 2012, during the terrible rain and floods. I took him to Dr. Gerrit Scheepers the vet in Phalaborwa the next day. He monitored him and kept him there until the morning when he was happy with his progress. He told me what to feed him and how to take care of him. Luckily he didn’t have any broken wings or anything; he was just very tired. I sent him to Moholoholo Rehab when I phoned Brian Jones and heard that they had received another Sooty Tern from the Tzaneen area. We couldn’t believe it. Brian looked after them both and when they were strong enough he got the necessary permits and permission and sent them with someone to Mozambique where they were released and flew away over the ocean. Brian ringed both of them.

Happy ending! Never a dull moment in Kruger!”

SootyTern003Sooty Terns are common non-breeding migrant summer visitors off the coast of Mozambique and northern KwaZulu-Natal. They are sometimes blown inland during cyclones but otherwise it is rare for them to be found within sight of land around Southern Africa.

Thanks for sharing yet another interesting story with us, Elize! We look forward to more!

If you have your own story and photos to share, send them to – we’d love to hear from you!

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