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Sweaters are the slick new look for penguins

Melbourne: They survive in some of the coldest environments in the world but even penguins appreciate a warm woolly jumper once in a while. An Australian penguin conservation group has put the call out to knitters across the world to make pullovers to help penguins recover from oil spills.

Keeping them warm and safe: The conservation group has asked knitters all over the world to make these little sweaters for these penguins and protect them from oil spills
Keeping them warm and safe: The conservation group has asked knitters all over the world to make these little sweaters for these penguins and protect them from oil spills

The Penguin Foundation says the jumpers help the creatures to keep warm and prevent them from trying to wipe 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 yukky stuff. He loses all of his waterproofness. He gets very very cold... Normally he has a little insulating doona inside his feathers.”

The foundation says the pullovers are easy to knit because penguins are so small. The foundation, which has created around 300 designs, have distributed the pullovers to other wildlife centres. The knitwear is worn until the penguins are deemed fit and sufficiently hydrated by local rangers, who then discard the dirty pullovers.

20
Number of penguins the foundation has rescued

>> Activists in Australia are asking people to donate woolly jumpers for penguins
>> Garments stop the birds ingesting toxins stuck to their feathers
>> Have created 300 different designs in various colours

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