From dramatic rescues and lifesaving procedures to rehabilitation and release, Penguin A&E depicts the frontline care required to protect Africa’s endangered penguins.

Penguin A&E is the story of Cape Town’s SANCCOB Western Cape Centre, better known as ‘Penguin Hospital’. With unprecedented access into the emergency response and rescue service where the injured birds are brought in. We watch with anticipation as the two resident vets perform miracle operations to save critically ill penguins.

At the same time in the rehabilitation centre and freshwater penguin pool, the penguins are given a safe haven to help them on their road to recovery. At any one time the hospital can become a home to over 100 penguins. Once a week, on penguin release days, the locals wave a tearful ‘goodbye’ to their rehabilitated friends as they return to the wild. But unfortunately some penguins remain on the ward – like Stevie, a long-time resident who is blind.

We also get a unique insight into the baby Penguin rearing unit, where tiny chicks are hand-reared and hand-fed until they’re big enough to waddle off into the sunset with the whole world ahead of them and a colony that they can call home.

Penguin A&E is a heart-warming tale of the African penguins, taking the viewer through the drama of life-saving surgery, to the bitter sweet goodbyes as the penguins leave to start a new life back in the wild.


Programme Details

4 x 60'
Channel 5 UK