These Little Penguins Need Sweaters, They Are Losing Their “Waterproofness”

Australia’s Philip Island Penguin Foundation has put up a call for penguin sweaters. This is important for visual reasons, and also general reasons pertinent to tiny penguin survival. At the Guardian:

“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 said. “The first thing he wants to do is get to shore because he loses all of his waterproofness.”

She said penguins became very cold and waterlogged when the sea water seeped in towards their skin. A ranger or member of the public could then take them to a rescue organisation such as the foundation.

A jumper prevents a penguin from cleaning oil from its body with its beak, and keeps it warm until conservationists can release it back into the wild. The little penguins, which live mainly around the coast of Victoria, are not as immune to the cold as their southern cousins.

Here is a penguin knitting pattern. “Flipper opening about 4 cm in length.”

(Excess penguin sweaters will be donated to other organizations or placed on penguin stuffed toys that raise awareness for the penguin cause. Of course, cash is the decidely less cute but more efficient way to send penguin or any other form of aid, and Penguin Foundation also has an Adopt-A-Penguin program!)