Renowned Scottish TV-presenter, Lorraine Kelly, has issued a public video appeal to help build a new penguin hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), a non-profit seabird organisation, has started construction of its new seabird hospital but urgently need additional funds to complete the building. Kelly is urging the public to assist by contributing as much as possible through SANCCOB’s Donate-a-brick drive.
Lorraine Kelly is the host of a popular daily morning show on ITV, called Lorraine, and her passion for penguins was evident as the presenter of the popular Penguin A&E show on Channel 5. The four-part documentary followed SANCCOB’s staff and volunteers behind-the-scenes as they care for and treat a range of different seabird cases, from emergency surgery operations to hatching and hand-rearing African penguin chicks.
SANCCOB’s Cape Town centre admits approximately 2,500 ill, injured, oiled and abandoned seabirds every year, of which half are endangered African penguins – the only penguin species endemic to the African continent. After decades of saving seabirds, the centre is in desperate need of a revamp and Lorraine hopes to encourage the public to help continue SANCCOB’s legacy of rescuing and rehabilitating southern Africa’s precious seabird species.
Kelly states that, “These wonderful little creatures need all the help we can give them. They are endangered and they are vulnerable on land and sea. SANCCOB volunteers are doing an amazing job but so many penguins now need urgent attention.”
The new seabird hospital will ensure that every seabird patient receives expert care and will include, among other things: two new Intensive Care Units; a three-part wash bay area to wash, rinse and dry oiled birds; a classroom for the centre’s growing educational outreach; a surgery; an X-ray room; pens; preparation areas; an aviary; three new pools; and a laboratory.
Whilst approximately two thirds of the total funds needed have been secured, SANCCOB still requires £260 000/R4,5 million/$340 000 to complete the new building. “For just three pounds you can donate a brick and actually help this dream become a reality. Please go to the website and give as much as you can to save these incredible birds”, Kelly adds.
Donations can be made online at www.sanccob.co.za