Want to adopt a penguin? Aw, cute. How can you say no?! Especially with a quirky name such as jackass penguin (more commonly known as the African penguin).
Your adopted penguin makes donkey-like braying sounds when trying to communicate. It can dive under water for up to 2 and a half minutes. How cool is that?!
Not only will you have an interesting topic of conversation at your next dinner party – I have my own penguin, but no, ahem, you can’t see it – but you will be helping to save an entire species as there are only 25 000 African penguin pairs left in the wild which makes the African penguin an endangered species.
Once you have adopted your penguin chick (the cost involved is R700 only) from SANCCOB, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds, you can choose a name for it. SANCCOB, a non-profit organisation, will give you an adoption certificate with a photo of the new member of your household (albeit in absentia) and a brief history relating to your very own happy-footed chick.
Penguin chicks eat up to eight sardines a day but luckily for you, SANCCOB will take care of that as well as of the little one’s health.
Your penguin will grow until it’s about 60 cm tall and weigh up to 3.6 kilogram. It will have a short tail, flipper-like wings and webbed feet that look like it’s made for dancing. It will be covered in dense water-proof feathers. On the belly the feathers are white and on the back it is black to help it with camouflage.
SANCCOB has been active since 1968. Since then they have saved 95 000 sea birds, treated 24 species, reared 2407 penguin chicks (yours could be number 2408!) and have seen a 19% increase in the African penguin population.
SANCCOB has two centres in South Africa – one in Table View near Cape Town in the Western Cape and one at the Seal Point Lighthouse in Cape St. Francis, Eastern Cape.
SANCCOB has a 24-hour rescue service for sick and injured birds and abandoned chicks. In the event of an oil spill their work load increases tremendously. Apart from rescue they are also responsible for rehabilitation and rearing of birds from penguins to cormorants, albatrosses, gannets, petrels, oystercatchers and pelicans. Apart from the African penguin, the Bank cormorant and the Cape cormorant are also endangered.
In addition to the above, SANCCOB also provides environmental education to children and adults; they provide internships to adults; and they are involved in ongoing research.