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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  • Adopt a Home Pen Penguin
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    Adopt a penguin from our Home Pen and help us to maintain and provide an excellent quality of life for our permanent residents.
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    If you love penguins or would like to know more about these charismatic creatures then SANCCOB's specialist "behind the scenes" tour is a must. Fill in our booking form, send it to us and you
  • Peter the Penguin Book
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    A fun and informative book about Peter the penguin and focuses on his experience of the 2000 Treasure Oil Spill that put 40 000 penguins at risk.
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    1 Year membership for South African residents with Pensioner status. Click on 'Product Details' to purchase.

  • City Slickers DVD
    City Slickers DVD
    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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