A SANCCOB Seabird Rehabilitation Centre is based next to the Seal Point Lighthouse in Cape St Francis, and a must to visit. SANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) sees to the rehabilitation of the highly endangered African penguin and other vulnerable seabirds.
Their work mainly involves treatment and care of sick, injured, oiled and abandoned African Penguins, Cape gannets, cormorants, Oyster Catchers, Terns and Seagulls.
In a non-spill year, the centre typically treats between 300 – 350 birds, with more than half of the birds admitted being penguins from the two colonies, Bird and St Croix Islands, in Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth, which collectively support 60% of the global African penguin population. With less than 2% of the global African penguin population left in the wild, it is of great importance that SANCCOB and their partners (such as SANParks) and the public work closely together spot any seabirds in need of care and are admitted to the centre for rehabilitation (3 week to 3 month process) before being released back into the wild.
Visitors are welcome to the souvenir shop and behind-the-scenes tours, which are great assets to their cause. Tour groups are welcome. A number of filming crews and travel agents visited Cape St Francis because of the centre.
Educational programmes at SANCCOB include the Wild About Exploration lessons, where they strive to educate local schools about the integrity of the marine environment. Forming part of the Walk along the Wild Side Schools Programme, groups of all ages are received at the centre.
As a registered non-profit organisation (2001/026273/08, 003-134NPO), SANCCOB is wholly reliant on public donations and sponsorships of public awareness and fundraising initiatives which contribute enormously to their work.