A New Zealand oil spill has left a number of Blue Penguins badly oiled and in need of cleaning. However, cleaning takes time, and penguins “in waiting” can become dangerously cold in their oil-coated feathers, and tend to nibble at the oil, with obviously hazardous effects.
A temporary sweater can both keep the penguins warm and prevent the birds from ingesting the oil. A call went out by Grist.org for volunteer knitters to help out the penguins by making and donating sweaters. The yarn company Skeinz has put instructions for the sweaters in their Spring 2011 Newsletter (don’t be confused, it is currently Spring in New Zealand).
Note: Though the request has been updated that the effort currently has enough penguin sweaters for the present job, oil spills are unfortunately frequent in this part of the world and knitters wanting to help in the future could knit them at their own convenience and keep them on hand for future emergencies.