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Mrs Claus has enlisted the help of Phillip Island's little penguins to make Melbourne's annual Santa's Magical Kingdom the best yet, and in return she is asking us crafty folk to knit festive penguin jumpers which will raise funds to protect Phillip Island's native wildlife.

Each Christmas jumper we receive will be sold on a penguin toy at the Penguin Parade and raise $5 for the Penguin Foundation.

Pattern download. Please note: Acrylic wool can be used for these jumpers. Pure wool is required only for little penguin rehabilitation jumpers which are not part of this Christmas program.

Please post your Christmas penguin jumpers to:
Penguin Foundation
PO Box 97
Cowes VIC 3922

Little penguin jumpers
While adorable, penguin jumpers are not a fashion statement. Penguin jumpers play an important role in saving little penguins affected by oil pollution. A patch of oil the size of a thumbnail can be deadly to a little penguin. Oiled penguins often die from exposure, starvation and poisoning. Oil sticks to and separates their layers of feathers, allowing water to reach their skin making them very cold, heavy and less able to successfully hunt for food. If on land, oiled penguins will attempt to clean the toxic oil from their feathers with their beaks which can lead to poisoning.

When oiled penguins are admitted to the Phillip Island Nature Parks Wildlife Clinic, a knitted jumper may be temporarily placed on the penguins to prevent them from preening oil from their feathers before they are washed and the oil removed by wildlife rescue staff. These penguin jumpers are knitted by caring donors from across the world. Sometimes, these jumpers are not suitable for penguin rehabilitation and are used to raise funds for the Penguin Foundation charity which supports the work of Phillip Island Nature Parks to protect Phillip Island’s little penguins and other unique wildlife.

Further information on penguin jumpers and their use in rehabilitation can be found here.