Alfie Date is, at 109, Australia’s oldest man. He’s also an experienced knitter. So when Victoria’s Phillip Island Penguin Foundation asked for his help in knitting sweaters for little penguins after an oil spill, he said, “Yes, of course.”
Little penguins are a species of penguin only found in southern Australia and New Zealand, with a lone colony of 32,000 remaining on Phillip Island. Oil can make penguins’ feathers stick together, allowing water to get to their inner layers, which then causes them to become cold and unable to hunt due to heaviness.
When oiled penguins arrive at the foundation, they are given a jacket to wear so that they don’t consume the toxins or preen their feathers and the jumpers are working. In 2001, 438 penguins were affected in an oil spill at Phillip Island, and by using the knitted outfits, 96 percent of the penguins were rehabilitated at…
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