SANCCOB’s Seabird Hospital currently receives penguins from all of South Africa’s African penguin breeding colonies. Once admitted, each bird is stabilised by our rehabilitation and veterinary team and given an individual diagnostic and treatment plan. Since the launch of our new Seabird Hospital in 2018, we can now keep the most critical birds in one of our two Intensive Care Units (ICU), where veterinary staff can adjust the temperature according to the different phases of recovery.
If needed, birds undergo surgery in one of two surgical theatres. One theatre is used for cleaning wounds and changing wound dressings, while the other theatre is equipped for more complex surgeries. In case of an oiling incident, the new washing, rinsing and drying bays allow for effective decontamination.
Once strong enough, the birds are rehabilitated outdoors and swim in specially designed pools. Weekly waterproofing and health checks, including blood sampling, are done throughout rehabilitation, which typically takes between 4 and 16 weeks.
Chick Bolstering Project:
There is an urgent need to rescue, rehabilitate and release orphaned and abandoned eggs and chicks. As part of the Chick Bolstering Project (CBP), SANCCOB incubates and hatches abandoned African penguin eggs and hand-rears the chicks. Once healthy enough, SANCCOB rehabilitation staff release the individually microchipped fledglings into the wild to bolster the population.
SANCCOB’s volunteer programme:
Volunteers are central to all of our programmes, but especially our rehabilitation and Chick Bolstering Project (CBP) where the volunteer complement forms the backbone of our SANCCOB workforce. Hundreds of local and international volunteers donate thousands of hours of their time to save seabirds at the two SANCCOB rehabilitation centres each year. Through our partnership with local and international zoos and aquaria, SANCCOB also welcomes expert staff through our Animal Professional Experience Programme, for instance we relied on the zoos and aquaria’s professionals when SANCCOB admitted hundreds of Lesser Flamingo chicks.
Request for support:
Our request for support for the Seabird Hospital is for items such as medication; equipment such as nebulisers, stainless steel tables and incubators; volunteer and staff training; uniforms and protective clothing for staff and volunteers; cleaning detergents as well as health and safety products (such as pest control); electricity, water and refuse costs; veterinary and diagnostic expenses; repairs and maintenance to extend the longevity of equipment in use; repairs and maintenance of the building; transportation of birds from the colonies to the SANCCOB centres and vice versa; as well as staff salaries. CLICK HERE to donate to the Chick-rearing project, and select on the dropdown menu under ‘where your donation should be used’ ‘Chick-Rearing Project’. If you wish to donate to in-kind items, please select ‘Wish List Items’. If you would like to purchase the items yourself, please contact Zainab (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.