A conservation group in Australia is calling on knitting enthusiasts to donate small woolly jumpers for sick penguins.
Phillip Island’s Penguin Foundation uses the jumpers to help rehabilitate birds that have been affected by oil spills or similar leaks from fishing boats.
Knits for Nature, a program run by the foundation, has created up to 300 different designs over the years thanks to its team of dedicated volunteers but is always in need of more.
‘There’s a lot of hidden creativity out there,’ explained Lyn Blom, an employee of the foundation.
The jumpers help to keep the penguins warm and also prevent them trying to clean the toxic oil away with their beaks.
‘If somebody puts oil into the sea… a little penguin swimming along pops up to the surface and finds out he’s come up in a circle of yukky stuff,’ Blom told ABC News.
‘The first thing he wants to do is get to shore because he loses all of his waterproofness.’
Oil mats and separates penguins’ feathers which damages their natural insulation and waterproofing systems.
Phillip Island is located 140km (87miles) south-east of Melbourne and is home to a small population of ‘little’ penguins, also known as korora or fairy penguins.
For those wishing to donate a jumper, the island’s Penguin Foundation has created a handyknitting pattern guide.
source: metro UK