Thursday, October 9, 2014

An ice idea: The penguins that give new meaning to the phrase polar neck

  • By Hannah Stubbs

Do you want to see a penguin in a rolled neck sweater? Of course you do! And even better these fine garments help the environment and keep the penguins free of oil

Adorable penguins facing death after being smothered in oil spill disasters have been saved by tiny knitted jumpers.

The feathered friends at Phillip Island Nature Park in Victoria, Australia, get the woolly jackets to keep them from licking the poisonous black slick that covers them during spills.

Hundreds of knitted jumpers have been donated for penguins in need - so many that the Penguin Foundation have been overwhelmed with inventive submissions and can’t accept any more.
Once a penguin has been rescued, they get a jumper to prevent them from preening and swallowing the toxic oil before they have been cleaned.

  The largest major disaster was in Phillip Island in 2001 when 453 little penguins were affected.

The Foundation successfully saved and rehabilitated 96% but staff are always on the lookout for penguins caught up in smaller spills. And newly saved penguins can look forward to a veritable fashion show of choices.

Keen knitters have created jumpers with stripes, spots and even a pattern mimicking the iconic design of Penguin books.

Penguin Foundation spokesperson Danene Jones said: “A single patch of oil the size of a thumb nail is enough to kill a baby penguin. “Oiled birds often die from exposure and starvation because the oil separates and mats feathers. It allows water to get in which makes a penguin very cold, heavy and less able to successfully hunt for food. Knitted penguin jumpers play an important role in saving little penguins affected by oil pollution. We are so grateful for all the people who have knitted jumpers for the rescued penguins. We’ve been overwhelmed by the inventive submissions.”


PS Please don't send in anymore sweaters, as these folks have enough already!

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