Adopt an egg
It's in our hands
- the survival of the highly
endangered African penguin

Raise funds for

Pennies for Penguins


Roll up your sleeves
come and help clean, feed and care for penguins
and other recovering seabirds


'Adopt' a penguin

choose a penguin in one of
our home pens or adopt
an egg or chick undergoing
rehabilitation for release
back into the wild


See for yourself
Arrange a visit




hen an African penguin chick or egg is abandoned by its parents, it has zero chance of survival … unless someone steps in to help. But, with only an estimated 22 000 breeding pairs of these endangered birds left in the wild, it’s essential to save every single one of them.

Over the past few years, SANCCOB in Cape Town has successfully incubated, hand-reared and released over 5 000 chicks back into the wild. Research has shown that their unconventional upbringing has no effect on the penguins’ subsequent behaviour and survival. They swim, hunt for food, mate and rear their own young – just like naturally-reared birds.

But whilst our Chick Bolstering Project is an essential part of reversing the dwindling African penguin population – it can’t continue without your help. Please will you ‘adopt’ an abandoned African penguin egg now by making a donation of R300 online?

Your investment will contribute towards the cost of fish, veterinary treatment and other essential items that are needed to hatch an egg and raise a chick.

Eggs are removed from nests where there is no sign of either parent bird – while abandoned chicks are identified by peck scars on their heads and hollow tummies, or when they are seen begging from multiple nests or sitting alone on the shoreline for extended periods.

Your contribution will help save an abandoned egg or chick like this – and give it a second chance to be a wild penguin and play its role in the conservation of the species. And if you contribute R300 or more, you’ll receive two O-FISH-ALLY awesome SANCCOB screensavers!

More importantly, the next time you visit Simon’s Town or Betty’s Bay, and see healthy young penguins streaking through the water – ducking under a wave or sunbathing on a rock – you’ll know they’re there because you … and others like you … cared enough to act while there is still the chance.

Welcome little one – this precious new life hatched at our Cape Town Seabird Centre on Friday 2 March 2018.


Last winter, caring supporters like you helped us save 30 oiled penguins and their 4 chicks from Bird and St Croix Islands.

The birds were taken to our seabird centre in Cape St Francis, where trained staff and volunteers washed, fed and cared for them for 4-6 weeks, while they regained their strength and the natural waterproofing of their feathers.

The chicks, which were less than three weeks old and weighed only 500 grams, were hand-reared at SANCCOB. All 34 birds were successfully released back into the wild.


SANCCOB saves seabirds


SANCCOB provides a 24/7 rescue service for sick and injured seabirds and abandoned chicks. We respond to oil spill disasters along the South African coastline.


SANCCOB is recognised internationally as a leader in the field of seabird rehabilitation. We treat 2500 injured, sick and oiled seabirds annually.


Our specialist chick rearing unit saves African penguin eggs and chicks that have been abandoned, for subsequent release back into the wild.


We offer various engaging lessons for children and adults, including tours of the facilities, presentations and encounters with our Ambassador penguins.


We offer 3 and 6 month internships for adults, as well as a zoo and aquarium keeper exchange programme and veterinary experience courses.


Ongoing research increases our understanding of seabird species’ behaviour, diseases and other factors that impact on their long-term survival.


More news



all us any time of the day or night. SANCCOB is a 24-hour Seabird Rescue Centre and will respond to all seabirds in distress, including African Penguins, Cape Gannets, Terns, Cormorants, Seagulls, Oystercatchers, Albatrosses, Petrels, Pelicans and other marine birds.

+27 (0)21 557 6155
+27 (0) 78 638 3731 (after hours & weekends)

+27 (0)42 298 0160
+27 (0)82 890 0207 (after hours & weekends)

Depending on the nature of the injury and the location of the seabird, we will dispatch one of our own Rescue Units, offer stabilisation advice or put you in contact with the nearest organisation that can assist.

What to do when you find an injured/sick/oiled seabird:
  • Please approach any seabird with care – some, such as Cape Gannets and African Penguins, have sharp beaks.
  • Have with you a towel or blanket and wear protection over your hands and eyes.
  • Throw the towel or blanket over the bird to catch it, ensuring that the bird is able to breathe.
  • Place the bird in a large box if you have one, after first ensuring that there are holes for air.
  • Keep the bird in a warm quiet place until help arrives