The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) rescued more than 100 Cape Cormorant chicks from Robben Island on January 12.

SANCCOB rangers stationed on the island monitored the situation and intervened when the chicks’ parents did not return for reasons unknown. The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Table Bay duty crew and Two Oceans Aquarium staff were called in to assist with the rescue operation.

The circumstances were worse than SANCCOB initially believed. Further patrols and investigations revealed that thousands of adult cormorants on the island had disappeared, meaning that the chicks left behind were easy pickings for predators. A similar situation was unfolding on a nearby island.

As of February 10, SANCCOB had more than 1700 chicks in its care, which consume close to 380 kilograms of sardines daily.

The organisation provided another update on February 25 and said that the chicks are making incredible progress. “Every supporter from near and far has contributed to getting them this far,” said SANCCOB in a Facebook post.

“The Cape cormorants are growing beautifully and progressing well. Donations of cash and in-kind have helped us cope while we rehabilitate them and feed them tons and tons of fish and we thank you for your continued support.”

The organisation is in dire need of donations and volunteers to assist with the following tasks:

Food prep:

Volunteers will be required to prepare the fish and formula to feed the chicks, as well as wash dishes and disinfect surfaces.


This will include washing and drying towels, as well as disinfecting and cleaning surfaces at the centre’s common areas.


This will entail working with a high-pressure hose to clean and disinfect all mats and crates.

Those who would like to volunteer can call or send a text via WhatsApp at 0766825130 or visit the official SANCCOB Facebook page.

Picture: SANCCOB/Facebook

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