SANCCOB cares for abandoned penguins

A total of 155 abandoned African penguin chicks have been admitted to SANCCOB centres.

A total of 155 abandoned African penguin chicks have been admitted to SANCCOB centres. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) on Friday said 155 abandoned penguin chicks have been admitted to their centre this month.

The chicks have been at their centres in Table View and Cape St. Francis since the beginning of November.

The centre says it is important to try and save every African penguin as they are endangered species.

The birds are abandoned at the end of the breeding season just before the parents start their annual moulting cycle.

Every year during summer, SANCCOB admits more than 300 abandoned African penguin chicks from Stony Point, Boulders Beach and Robben Island.

SANCCOB's Francois Louw says although it is a timely and costly process, it is crucial to save every endangered animal.

"They will be fed six times a day so it's a very busy period for our staff. They will receive fish and they will get something we call fish smoothie, which basically helps them with their sustenance."

They are expecting at least another 300 chicks before February.

Louw says there are less than 19,000 breeding pairs left in South Africa.