Adopt a penguin as a Valentine’s Day gift

Posted by Imogen on 11 February 2019

Valentine’s Day is the international day of love where, traditionally, lovers gift their sweethearts with chocolates and roses as symbols of affection. In 2019, as we bemoan the expensive dinners and cheap teddy bears we increasingly associate 14 February with, change things up and move away from the status quo by gifting your loved one with an African penguin or penguin egg.

SANCCOB has started an initiative whereby members of the public can adopt a member of this highly endangered species, and we think it makes for an incredibly caring present. For the entire month of February you can adopt a pair of penguins for R600, so that you can both be ‘parent’ to one of these cute seabirds – although this doesn’t mean you’ll be taking any home!


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This unlikely pair prove opposites attract. Penelope is the most friendly bird in the CSF home pen. She is very gentle, sweet and dedicated to her fully blind partner Batmann. Batmann stalks the volunteers by listening to their footsteps, and if you are not careful she will reward you with a nip on the back of the leg. She is however hopelessly devoted to her Penelope. In this month of love visit our centre and meet this and so many of our other charming couples. 🐧 🐧 🐧 🐧 #sanccob #penguin #penguins #africanpenguins #southafrica #easterncape #pe #portelizabeth #savesseabirds #endangeredpenguins #capestfrancis #nature #lovenature #valentines #love

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The penguins will remain in SANCCOB’s care and will be hand-reared, rehabilitated and released back into the wild when ready.

The price of an adoption goes toward the cost of fish, medication, water, and other essentials needed to help your bird become strong enough to live in the wild. The penguins cannot be visited during rehabilitation and you cannot track their movements after they’re released. The African penguin is a wild animal after all, and adoptions plays a vital role in saving the species and giving the feathery SANCCOB residents the chance to live a full life in their natural habitat.

Penguin ‘parents’ will receive a Certificate of Adoption valid for one year and a thank-you letter from their penguins.

If you miss the chance to adopt in February, SANCCOB still has three other adoption options to choose from: the adoption of an egg, an adult/ chick or a ‘character’. Adopting an egg costs R300, which goes toward hand-rearing your penguin until he/ she can be released back into the wild. The adoption of an adult or chick African penguin or Blue penguin (the smallest penguin species) costs R600 and you can choose and name your penguin.

The third option, the adoption of one of the ‘characters’ at the sanctuary, costs R1,000. The ‘characters’ are home pen birds that live permanently at the Table View and Cape St Francis seabird centres as they cannot be released back into the wild.

Each adoption option come with a Certificate of Adoption that is valid for one year. If you choose to adopt and name a penguin or adopt one of SANCCOB’s characters, you will also receive a thank-you letter from your adoptee.

For more information on how to adopt a penguin, visit SANCCOB’s website here.


Image course: Unsplash



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