Help a penguin out and knit him a sweater

By Amy Lyn Kench

I simply adore penguins. If I could have one as a pet, I totally would. So,when I saw this request by The Penguin Foundation for tiny pullover sweaters, I just had to do a little write up about it. I’m not a knitter, but this really makes me want to learn how.

penguin in sweaterThe Penguin Foundation has posted a global shout-out for knitters to make pullover sweaters for penguins in rehab.

Penguins caught in oil spills need the little jumpers to keep warm and to stop them from trying to clean the toxic oil off with their beaks.

Did you know that a patch of oil the size of an adult thumbnail can kill a little penguin? 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 leading to hypothermia and starvation. Many penguins attempt to clean (preen) their feathers and die after swallowing the poisonous oil.

How do rescue crews treat penguins effected by oil spills?

Staff and registered volunteers at Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Australia are trained in the handling and rescue of oiled penguins. Rescued penguins are taken to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, where the oil is washed from their feathers using warm water and detergent. Some penguins may require several washes to completely remove the oil.

Knitted jumpers are placed on oiled penguins to keep them warm and prevent them from preening their feathers and swallowing the toxic oil. Once the penguins are back to a healthy weight and their feathers are waterproof they are released back into the wild.

penguin knitting pattern

For many years the Penguin Foundation and Phillip Island Nature Parks have received donations of knitted penguin jumpers from kind and enthusiastic volunteers around the world. Click here for more information

Please send finished jumpers to:

“Knits for Nature”
Phillip Island Nature Parks
Reply Paid 97
Cowes, Victoria 3922


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