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Knit a penguin sweater to help them survive an oil spill

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A conservation group in Australia is calling on knitting enthusiasts to donate small woolly jumpers for sick penguins, reports metro.co.uk.

Phillip Island’s Penguin Foundation uses the jumpers to help rehabilitate birds that have been affected by oil spills or similar leaks from fishing boats.

Knits for Nature, a program run by the foundation, has created up to 300 different designs over the years thanks to its team of dedicated volunteers but is always in need of more.

The foundation's website says a patch of oil the size of a thumbnail can kill a little penguin.

‘There’s a lot of hidden creativity out there,’ explained Lyn Blom, an employee of the foundation.

The jumpers help to keep the penguins warm and also prevent them trying to clean the toxic oil away with their beaks.

Several knitting patterns are available and enthusiasts are always exploring new designs. The winners of a recent penguin pullover competition included a rainbow sweater, a super man/penguin sweater and a sweater ala the Penguin Books logo, reports The Houston Chronicle.

"They're very quick," said Blom of creating the sweaters with patterns, which can be found online.

A previous campaign after an oil spill off New Zealand in 2011 resulted in a "deluge" of jumpers being sent for penguins.

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