These little Phillip Island penguins have been injured by an oil spill. Although the jumpers are adorable, they aren’t a fashion statement but necessary to prevent penguins from licking and swallowing the oil. The sweaters also keep them warm as the oiled feathers stick together, allowing cold water to get to the penguins inner layers.
Some of the jumpers have been knit by one-hundred-and-nine-year-old Alfred “Alfie” Date, Australia's oldest man, who lives in a retirement home on the New South Wales Central Coast. He was asked to help because of his 80 years of knitting experience. It was a favour he could not refuse. A self-taught knitter, Alfie was inspired to learn the craft in 1932 when he wanted to make a jumper for his newborn nephew. Now decades later, Alfie’s nimble fingers are once again at work. He, along with hundreds of others, were responding to a plea for donated jumpers by the Phillip Island Penguin Foundation.
The Foundation currently has plenty of penguin jumpers and needs no more donations at the moment.