African Penguins Protecting African Penguins in the Wild We are helping to save African penguins through the support of SANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds). SANCCOB is a leading marine non-profit organization which has treated more than 90,000 oiled, ill, injured or abandoned endangered African penguins and other threatened seabirds since being established in 1968. more info Every year between October and January, hundreds of small fluffy African penguin chicks are abandoned by their parents when they start their annual moult. During this time, the parents replace their old, worn-out feathers with a brand new set of waterproof feathers and are unable to hunt for fish and feed their young during the three to four week moulting process. As a result, the chicks that have yet to fledge are abandoned and face starvation unless SANCCOB and its conservation partners intervene. The chicks spend between 6 to 12 weeks undergoing careful rehabilitation. Once they are at a fledging age, the correct weight, healthy and their feathers are waterproof, they receive the final nod of approval from the veterinary team and get released back into the wild. With less than 2% of the original African penguin population remaining, the hand-rearing of ill and abandoned chicks is a crucial conservation intervention to help bolster the wild population.