What’s cuter than penguins? Penguins wearing little tiny sweaters. And now you can make that cuteness happen.
Phillip Island’s Penguin Foundation in Australia is asking for knitters to make penguin-sized jumpers so the adorable birds can wear them while recovering from being caught in oil spills or fishing boat leaks.
“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,” said Lyn Blom, receptionist for the Penguin Foundation. “The first thing he wants to do is get to shore because he loses all of his waterproofness.”
That means the penguins’ coat that would usually keep the icy cold waters from getting the birds wet, can’t do that anymore, making for some freezing and dirty penguins.
In an effort to get their coats cleaned, they try to wipe off the oil with their beaks and obviously ingesting that stuff doesn’t help their health. That’s why they need jumpers. They keep them from picking at the oil remnants on their coats and keep them warm until they’re all recovered and ready to be release back into the wild. (Plus it makes them look adorable!)
The penguin jumper program started 13 years ago and has helped 438 penguins so far. For those knitters wanting to help, the foundation provides a knitting pattern.