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Knitting sweaters to save penguins

After the October 5 oil spill jeopardized the lives of thousands of marine animals off the coast of New Zealand, concerned global citizens have reached for their yarn and knitting needles to help out, The Huffington Post reports.

A yarn store in new Zealand is calling on knitters across the world to make sweaters for baby penguins that have been affected by the spill. The birds are part of the country's native blue penguins, and hundreds have died along with thousands of other sea birds.

The sweaters are designed to keep the baby birds warm until they are well enough to be scrubbed down to remove the oil. The sweaters also prevent the penguins from preening, which could cause them to ingest the oil on their feathers, according to ABC news.

The spill resulted in a total of 350 tons of oil being poured into the ocean and is regarded as one of the country's worst ever. Penguins are especially at risk from the oil, as their feathers are different from those of other birds, the news source reports. Their feathers are dense, small and of different lengths, giving them a Velcro-like wetsuit. Oil penetrating the coat makes it easy for water to also soak through, which can freeze the birds. 
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