SANCCOB stands for the S
ational Foundation for the C
onservation of C
irds. In Afrikaans
the acronym is SANCOOB
This is an organization that assists the seabirds of South Africa
's Cape region in recovering from man-made interference and disaster, most frequently oil spill
s (a bird covered in oil isn't insulated from the frigid water and cannot hunt for fish and starves). The birds most frequently brought in are penguin
s (specifically African Penguin
s, formerly known- no joke- as Jackass Penguin
s) and genet
s, as well as a few seagull
So, vollunteers at SANCCOB feed and house injured birds, and bathe and re-bathe those covered with oil, and release them when they're well and clean. The SANCCOB facility in Tableview
, outside of Cape Town
, has a number of pens and swimming pools for the birds, as well as one pen in the front where birds not able to be released are kept, and space in the back where emergency pens can be set up with portable dividers.
In times of crisis (i.e. oil spill), SANCCOB can be flooded with vollunteers, but they all want to feed penguins. Bad mindset, this. People are needed just as urgently to clean pens, etc. But nobody wants to clean the bird crap, of course.
One more thing, the birds are not tame. They do not like people. They even need to be force fed because they do not naturally eat dead fish and it is logistically impossible to feed them lives ones, as records are kept of how much each bird keeps to indicate the level of its health. And when hungry they can be dangerous. A genet has a beak perhaps two feet long on it, tapering into a sharp point. This why, when I vollunteered at SANCCOB (keeping records, rolling cotton balls, pouring bath water, nothing glamorous), one more experienced vollunteer warned me, "Don't bend down to look a genet in the eye when it's hungy. Someone once did that and the bird jabbed its beak through his eye into his brain."
The birds are beautiful anyway. SANCCOB just tries to preserve them from the black, sticky side effects of capitalism