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Brown pelicans

These brown pelicans are being rehabilitated by the the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network. We’ve supported this nonprofit through our Wildlife Emergency Fund. (Photo courtesy of SBWCN)

Thanks to you, we were able to provide support through our Wildlife Emergency Fund (WEF) to two nonprofits working to help two bird species in urgent need. This special fund provides emergency support to address dire threats to wildlife.  

Extreme rainstorms in South Africa caused adult African penguins to abandon their nests, many of which were flooded. Chicks were found near or in the destroyed or underwater nests, leading to a rescue effort that brought over 100 African penguin chicks to the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) since March 2022. The penguin chicks, some of which required intensive care, are currently being hand-reared by their dedicated staff, interns and volunteers. 

We’ve funded SANCCOB with $3,000 to help them feed, medicate and rehabilitate these African penguin chicks in the hopes these birds can eventually rejoin their colony. African penguins are an endangered species.  


Our Wildlife Emergency Fund also provided $3,000 to the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network (SBWCN), which started experiencing an unusually large influx of sick brown pelican patients earlier this month. Most of these birds arrive severely emaciated, weak, hypothermic, and unable to fly, with many more reports of dead birds being found all over Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. The cause for their condition is unconfirmed, but many organizations are investigating.  

As of May 19, SBWCN rescued more than 140 brown pelicans – a substantial increase for this organization, which rescued a total of 101 brown pelicans in 2021. Many of the pelican patients are responding well to treatment and care, which our funding will support.  

Our WEF is made possible through the sale of collectible animal buttons, which are created by our volunteers and sold throughout the Zoo.  

We encourage you to make your own donation to one of these organizations or collect our animal buttons so we can help even more animals in need!  

Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.