Penguins could die
unless we prepare now
for the next oil spill
Roll up your sleeves
come and help clean, feed and care for penguins
and other recovering seabirds


'Adopt' a penguin

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


See for yourself
Arrange a visit




s if there weren’t already enough threats to our endangered African penguins – dwindling fish stocks, seas polluted with plastic, fishing line and nets – winter brings another, potentially catastrophic hazard … oil spills.

Storms and winds at this time of year carry deadly oil leaks from ships or faulty pipelines straight into colonies where seabirds live. And it spells disaster for them.

Oil breaks through the birds’ waterproof feathers and prevents them from swimming. And if they can’t swim, they can’t catch the fish they need to survive. They literally starve to death.

Unless we step in to rescue them.

At SANCCOB, we have the willing hands, knowledge and skills to save these birds. But because we have no way of knowing when disaster will strike again, we need to stock up now on protective gloves and clothing, nets, capture boxes, eye ointment, electrolyte solution and syringes, in preparation for another oil spill.

That’s where your donation makes all the difference. You’ll also help cover the cost of transporting birds to our rehabilitation centres, soap and brushes to wash them, heat lamps, fish and vitamins, specialist veterinary care for very sick birds, and incubators for chicks and eggs abandoned by oiled adults.

It costs around R500 to save an oiled penguin and release it back into the breeding colony. If you can help us to save even one of these birds, you will play a vital role in the survival of this species. Fewer than 25 000 African penguin breeding pairs remain in the wild – all of them in southern Africa. We can’t afford to lose any to an oil spill. So please will you make your donation online now?


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.


SANCCOB Research

SANCCOB Research SANCCOB is not only leading in seabird rehabilitation in southern Africa but is also involved in a number…

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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