Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds

Be a superhero – save a chick

With ‘chick season’ (October through to January) looming, your help is needed to save hundreds of small fluffy African penguin chicks that have been abandoned by their parents in the colonies. Chicks are brought to SANCCOB’s centres in Cape Town (Western Cape) and Cape St. Francis (Eastern Cape) where they receive the best care in the world before being released back into the wild; healthy, well-fed and ready to face life in the ocean as wild penguins.

This mass abandonment of chicks has been recorded since the early 1900s, when adults start their annual moult. During this time, the parents replace their ‘tuxedo’ with a brand new set of waterproof feathers and are unable to hunt for fish and feed their young during the three to four week moulting process. As a result, chicks that have yet to fledge are abandoned and face starvation unless conservation organisations like SANCCOB and its partners,CapeNatur eand SANParks (Table Mountain National Park and the Marine Rangers section of  the AddoElephant National Park) intervene.

The rehabilitation of a chick can take anything from 6 weeks to 3 months depending on their size and condition. Nicky Stander, SANCCOB’s Rehabilitation Manager, indicated that, “The majority of the chicks admitted this year are significantly smaller and younger than in previous years. This means that they will stay for much longer at SANCCOB and therefore the cost of raising them will increase as a result.”

If you can help with donations in cash or kind towards this cost, please contact us.

March 20, 2016

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