Local News

Stop knitting! Penguins have enough jumpers

Put your knitting needles down! The penguins of Phillip Island officially have enough jumpers.

The Phillip Island Penguin Foundation issued a call to action to knitters worldwide last week, asking for penguin-sized pullovers for animals injured in oil slicks.

The plea quickly went viral and within days, the foundation had a whole shipping container packed with hand-knitted creations.

Jumpers for penguins might seem ridiculous, but they save the lives of the hundreds of penguins caught in oil spills each year, keeping the little birds warm and preventing them from ingesting the toxic oil while trying to clean themselves.

A thumbnail-sized patch of oil is enough to kill a little penguin.

“The oil coating mattes the plumage together,” the foundation’s spokesman Dr Peter Dann says. “It’s like getting holes in your wetsuit

“The oil spill never happens on the doorstep, and sometimes it takes days to get the penguins to you. For us, putting [jumpers] on in transit while they’re waiting is beneficial.”

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