More oiled birds admitted to SANCCOB

Oiled-Gannet_resizedSince the major oil slick on the Table View beach front caused by the SELI 1 on Saturday, 1 September 2012, SANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) have admitted 219 birds affected by the oil slick. These include 189 oiled African penguins, 29 chicks who were admitted due to their parents being oiled and 1 oiled Cape Gannet. The oil slick was drifting in Table Bay, which is one of the main feeding grounds for seabirds from Robben Island and the West Coast National Park. 



SANCCOB sent out a team on 8 September 2012 lead by Dr. Nola Parsons (SANCCOB’s Veterinarian and Researcher) to assist the team from the Animal Demography Unit (University of Cape Town), Earthwatch, Birdworld Farnham Surrey and the Robben Island Museum. The focus was on sweeping the island’s nesting areas for oiled birds and identifying chicks that were abandoned as a result of their parents being oiled.


Dr. Nola Parsons said, “Checking birds in the colony is time-consuming and takes many people to slowly work through the thick bushes checking every bush and burrow. But occasionally an oiled bird is found and can be removed, if the bird is sitting with chicks or eggs, they are also removed. We were further challenged by quite a lot of rain on Sunday morning but removed a total of 29 oiled penguins, 1 injured adult, 2 chicks and 2 eggs over the whole weekend. We are a little bruised and battered with some sore bodies but happy that we were able to help the dedicated researchers that have been doing this all week.”


To date, SANCCOB’s dedicated team of staff and local and international volunteers have washed 88 oiled birds. All of the birds are in a very good condition and are responding well to the rehabilitation process. It will be another 2-3 weeks before the first group of birds will be deemed fit for release back into the wild.  


Currently, SANCCOB has the situation fully under control and there is currently no need for additional volunteers. We do, however, ask the public to help with the rehabilitation of these oiled African penguins, by kindly visiting to make a donation, adopt a penguin or become a member of our organization today.

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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  • Valentine’s Meal for our Lovebirds
    Valentine’s Meal for our Lovebirds
    Share some Valentine’s love with our endangered African penguins by sponsoring a dinner date for one of our resident penguin couples for Valentine’s Day!
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    A fashionable SANCCOB branded baseball cap. Fits all sizes. Only available in blue.
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    2-for-1 Valentine's Adoption (Email)
    Our 2-for-1 Valentine’s adoptions are back! Say ‘I love you’ to that someone special by naming and adopting two penguins rehabilitated at one of SANCCOB’s seabird centres. Choose our new ‘green adoption option’ by having it emailed directly to your inbox and save R100 on your adoption!
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    15 years ago, a handful of African Penguins, normally found only on remote islands off the Southern African coast, stumbled across one of the Cape's most beautiful and popular tourist beaches.
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    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.
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    The African Penguin DVD
    The African Penguin is the only penguin that lives on the African Continent. It was known as the Jackass Penguin because of its donkey like call.

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