Australian Oil Spills lead to Penguin Sweaters!

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The Phillip Island Nature Park of Cowers, Australia unfortunately became a victim of oil spillage back in 200a, in which 483 penguins were affected by the accident. Since the spillage, an organization called the The Penguin Foundation and rehabilitation centers has been created to help build new penguin nesting areas, monitor the health of penguins and other affected animals, as well as protect natural habitats.

As more facts about the serious nature of oil spills arose, a project within The Penguin Foundation was created called Knit for Nature.

A penguin can be killed by a patch of oil the size of a thumb nail. The permanent oil damage separates and mats feathers, thus allowing water to get under the feathers and makes a penguin very cold, heavy and less able to successfully hunt for food. As a result of these facts, Knit for Nature was then created, an organization that hoped to improve penguins health with sweaters covering the oil affected feathers.

According to the Phillip Island Penguin Foundation, the substance mats the feathers of a penguin as well as reduces their buoyancy in the water making it easier to hunt for fish! Since the start of the charity, hundreds of sweaters have been knitted and donated to protect penguins’ tarnished feathers and allow them to stay warm without keeping them in rehabilitation longer than necessary.

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Even Australia’s oldest man, 109 year-old Alfred “Alfie” Date supported the cause by knitting single-rib and double-rib sweaters after learning how to knit.

After years of worldwide publicity for the wildlife charity, Knit for Nature was able to receive an overwhelming amount of sweaters, and as of March 11th, The Penguin Foundation announced that sweaters will no longer be needed! As a result of worldwide teamwork and efficiency to save the penguins, 96 percent of the penguins will be released back into the wild.

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