The Internet Loves Making Penguin Sweaters
But what about bow ties to match their tuxedos?
Dear Internet: if you are currently knitting a sweater for a penguin impacted by an oil spill or natural disaster, pause! Philip Island Penguin Foundation made a public plea for sweaters yesterday, but use your yarn cautiously; in the past, these requests have resulted in thousands of unnecessary sweaters. Internet, for once, you are being too kind.
The Guardian reported yesterday that Philip Island Penguin Foundation, responsible for rehabilitating 20 birds a year, is requesting jumpers to keep the birds warm. The Foundation’s receptionist Lyn Blom told ABC News,
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. The first thing he wants to do is get to shore because he loses all of his waterproofness.
Without their waterproof coat, the tiny Victorian penguins have trouble protecting themselves from the cold and attempt to pull out their feathers. Knitted jumpers prevent the birds from destroying their coats and keep them warm while being rehabilitated.
The penguin jumper program began in 2001 when 438 penguins needed treatment after an oil spill. But, humans, we need not all make up for our environmental transgressions via our knitting, no matter how adorable pictures like the one above may be.
Boing Boing reports that past requests for jumper assistance have been a little too successful. The Tasmanian Conservation Trust asked for 100 sweaters in the year 2000 and received 15,000, and if anything, we’ve probably become even more susceptible to adorable needy birds in this post-March of The Penguins world.
I do encourage you to consider participating using the knitting pattern here, but use restraint! It’s a good idea to contact the Foundation first and see if a billion penguin philanthropists got there before you.
The Foundation does promise that extra sweaters will be sold (to very tiny people, presumably) in fundraisers or used for educational programs. So, if you just want to help the flightless birds out anyway you can, get to knitting, you softie, you!