Jumpers have been knitted for little penguins affected by oil
spills in Australian to stop them preening and swallowing toxins.
The Phillip Island Penguin Foundation which
launched a Knit for Nature programme, said: "A patch of oil the size
of a thumb nail can kill a little penguin.
"Oiled penguins often die from exposure and
"Oil separates and mats feathers, allowing
water to get in which makes a penguin very cold, heavy and less able to
successfully hunt for food."
The jumpers are placed on the penguins to stop them
preening while they wait to be washed by clinic staff.
Phillip Island is home to an estimated 32,000
The last major oil spill off the island happened in
2001 and affected 453 little penguins – 96 per cent of them were saved and
rehabilitated at the Phillip Island Wildlife Clinic before being
released back into the wild.
The foundation recently ran a knitting competition
and said it has been overwhelmed with offers of jumpers from around the world,
so much so that it is able to send the jumpers on to other rescue centres if
In 201/13 582 sick animals were admitted to
the Phillip Island Wildlife Clinic of which 141 were little penguins.
The foundation raises funds for the rescue and care
of sick or injured little penguins. It also runs an adopt a penguin programme.