This month, two members of the Zoo’s penguin team traveled to South Africa on a penguin conservation trip. They worked for over a week with our partners at Sanccob Saves Seabirds, providing care for orphaned African penguin chicks that are part of a rehabilitation program and are set to be released back into their native habitat after they become healthy and strong.

Read updates on the exciting work Jen and Maria participated in on their trip below.

November 7th Update:

Two Zoo team members just touched down in South Africa and are already working hands-on with penguins in need.

Jen and Maria are visiting our partners at SANCCOB Saves Seabirds. In the image above you can see them feeding orphaned African penguin chicks that are being raised until they are healthy and old enough to be re-released into their natural habitat.

November 10th Update:

You could call Maria an expert penguin holder (one of her many specialized skills as a keeper). Today, on her conservation trip in South Africa, she put that expertise to good use. Here Maria is assisting with veterinary checks on about 40 juvenile and adult African penguins that are part of a rehabilitation program at SANCCOB Saves Seabirds

November 13th Update:

It’s a penguin pool party with a purpose. These young African penguins are set to be re-released into the wild, but first, they have to pass a water test. Yesterday, our penguin team members visiting South Africa helped check these penguins for sufficient natural waterproofing on their feathers so they can graduate SANCCOB Saves Seabirds’ program and head into the ocean.

November 16th Update:

Once orphaned chicks struggling to survive, nine African penguins are now strong, healthy and ready to live on their own thanks to our partner SANCCOB Saves Seabirds’ chick bolstering program. Today in South Africa, Maryland Zoo penguin team members Jen and Maria helped release the young penguins back into their natural habitat. Conservation work like this is vital to the future of these endangered birds.