SANCCOB releases 100th African penguin from the SELI 1 oil slick

Homeward-Bound smallSince the SELI 1 caused a major oil slick off Table Bay on Saturday, 1 September 2012, SANCCOB admitted a total of 254 seabirds to their centre in Table View for rehabilitation. The birds admitted included 219 oiled, endangered African penguins, 2 oiled Cape Gannets, 33 penguin chicks and 3 eggs that were abandoned as a result of their parents being oiled. With the help of the dedicated staff and volunteers of SANCCOB, the last of the oiled birds were washed on 19 September and were admitted for rehabilitation together with the other birds affected by the oil slick. Two of the eggs have hatched in SANCCOB’s Chick Rearing Unit while one was deemed not viable. Small groups of African penguins have been released back into the wild after getting the final nod-of-approval from SANCCOB’s veterinary team. On Thursday, SANCCOB proudly released the 100th African penguin affected by the SELI 1 oil slick off the coast of Robben Island.

Venessa Strauss (CEO of SANCCOB) said, “The release of the 100th African penguin affirms the hard work put in by our dedicated staff and volunteers in getting our birds back on their feet. We have only lost two birds, which came into our care in a very weak state, during the entire SELI 1 rescue operation. The hard work is far from finished, and we expect the rest of the birds in our care to be released in the next two weeks. SANCCOB’s team remains vigilant until the wreck of the SELI 1 will be removed for good”.


The remaining birds are in good health and responding well to the rehabilitation and will be released in the coming weeks. SANCCOB invites members of the public to attend a beach release of the next group of African penguins at Boulder’s Beach (Seaforth Beach), Simon’s Town, on 13 October 2012 for the opening of the Simon’s Town Penguin Festival in commemoration of African Penguin Awareness Day which is celebrated on the same day.


For those unable to attend the release at Simon's Town, Iziko Museums are also celebrating African Penguin Awareness Day on Saturday 13th October 2012 in collaboration with SANCCOB. A SANCCOB representative will be giving a short presentation on the endangered African penguin and the penguin release in Simon’s Town will be broadcasted live via Skype. 

What We Do

SANCCOB is at the forefront of saving African penguins and other threatened seabirds.  It never takes a day off and its rehabilitation team is on 24-hour call.

SANCCOB deploys its specialist emergency response skills in Africa, the Indian Ocean region, Antarctica and Sub-Antarctic. Through its training academy it equips people to work in the environmental sector; and a passion to instill pride and knowledge about marine conservation drives its education programmes.

SANCCOB is a leader in seabird disease research.

LATEST AFRICAN PENGUIN FIGURES released by South African Department of Environmental Affairs (2012):

18 683 breeding pairs in the wild in South Africa (excludes Namibian figures)





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  • SANCCOB Pens
    SANCCOB Pens
    SANCCOB Pens, black ink.Available in: Blue, red, pink, yellow, green , orange, white, black and blue
  • Magenta Penguin Book & Toy
    Magenta Penguin Book & Toy
    This is a story about a penguin that is different:a magenta penguin called Siffira10 and covers one year in her life.
  • Abby’s Aquarium Adventures
    Abby’s Aquarium Adventures
    Join Abby on a adventure that will take you from the rivers in the Amazon the oceans of the world. Discover the creatures that life in and near the sea of the people who get to work with them on a daily basis....Abby may even let you in a few secrets.
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    Adopt a Penguin (DELUXE)
    Adopt and name an African penguin that has been cared for and released back into the wild by SANCCOB. Get an added SANCCOB Carry bag, fluffy African penguin and African penguin postcard with the new Deluxe Adoption pack.
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    1 Year membership for South African residents. Click on 'Product Details' to purchase.
  • Big Spill
    Big Spill
    This book tells the story of Peter, Pamela and Percy and their experience during the 2000 Treasure Oil spill, during which time SANCCOB rehabilitated nearly 19 500 African penguins.
  • Penguins of Boulders
    Penguins of Boulders
    This book not only highlights some of the environmental pressures these animals face, but also illustrates and describes interesting penguins facts, reference information on the species, but also various conservation and ongoing rescue operations.

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