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Australians ask to knitters to make sweaters for penguins. An Australian penguin conservation group has put the call out to knitters across the world to make sweaters to help penguins recover from oil spills. The Penguin Foundation says the jumpers help the creatures to keep warm and prevent them from trying to clean the oil off with their beaks. “It is a continuing problem,” said Lyn Blom, a regular penguin knitter who

lives

on

the

island.

“If somebody puts oil into the sea … a little penguin swimming along pops up to the surface and finds out he has come up in a circle of disgusting

stuff.

He loses all of his waterproofness. He gets very, very cold… Normally he has a little insulating layer inside his feathers.”


The foundation, based at Phillip Island, an island with a large penguin colony about 90 miles from Melbourne, says the sweaters are easy

to

knit

because

penguins

are

so

small.

“They’re very quick [to knit],” said Ms Blom, a receptionist at Phillip Island Nature

Parks,

told

ABC

News:

“Little penguins are only about 30 centimeters [12 inches] tall.” The foundation distributes the sweaters to other wildlife centers and uses about 20 a year for its own oil-smeared penguins. The knitwear is worn until the penguins are fit and sufficiently hydrated by local rangers,

who

then

discard

the

dirty

sweaters.

“Nobody wants a jumper with oil all over it,” Ms Blom said. “That oil is pretty

yucky.”

Ms Blom said she had knitted between 200 and 300 penguin jumpers over the years in various patterns, including the uniforms of each of the Australian

Rules

football

The program began after a large oil spill near the island in 2001.

teams.


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