If you don’t think penguins are already adorable enough, you absolutely have to see one in a miniature, knitted sweater. Yes, this is real life. These sweaters, however, are not just for fashion. The Penguin Foundation, a nonprofit based out of Phillip Island in Australia, uses these penguin jumpers to help rescue and rehabilitate the cutie pies. Putting sweaters on oil-drenched penguins keeps them warm and prevents them from trying to clean off the toxic material with their beaks.
The last major oil spill near Phillip Island affected around 450 penguins, and, thanks to these sweaters, almost all of the little guys were saved and release back to their natural habitats. More recently, about 20 birds a year have been found and rescued after smaller oil spills. The foundation does not only use the sweaters for its organization, either–it also distributes them to other wildlife rescue centers in need.
Now it’s time to get crafty. The foundation has released a worldwide request for penguin sweater donations. If you are interested in helping out and know how to knit (or at least want to try) you can participate in the foundation’s Knits for Nature program. They accept all donations (wool and acrylic) at any time. To download a knitted penguin jumper pattern, visit here. This is also a great warmup for any future baby blanket knitting endeavors. Trust me, those days will be here sooner than you think.
[via ABC Melbourne]