Great granny knits lifesaving penguin jumpers
98-year old great-grandmother Merle Davenport has been knitting mini penguin jumpers for nearly 20 years. She started in 1998, when our flightless feathered friends were threatened by an oil spill near Ms. Davenport’s home in Australia. The oil from the spill separates the penguin’s feathers which reduces their insulation, making the penguins cold.
Thanks to her knitting, the penguins have jumpers to keep them warm until the oil dissipates and they are free to swim again. Not only do the jumpers warm up the little penguins, but they also prevent them from ingesting the oil, as they normally clean their feathers with their beaks. Granny Davenport has knit over a thousand jumpers, and knitters from around the world have joined in the effort and sent in theirs as well.
This granny isn’t the only knitter to make the news for penguin knitting. You might remember Alfie Date, who sadly passed away at aged 110 in May of 2016. Mr. Date took up knitting after retirement and made jumpers for the same penguins as Granny Davenport.
Luckily the water today is oil free, and the penguins don’t have a current need for the jumpers, so they are stockpiled in case of a future crisis. As cute as the thought of penguins in jumpers is, I think we all hope that they don’t need to wear them anytime soon. In the meantime, some of the jumpers are sold on plush toy penguins to raise money for the animals. The Penguin Foundation says that they have an abundance of jumpers, so if you were thinking of knitting your own and sending it in, you might want to just put it on a toy penguin and give it as a cute gift!
[Story via Daily Mail]
Last updated: September 12th, 2016.