New Zealand's Penguins in Dire Need of Fabulous Knits

The Taurunga oil spill off the coast of New Zealand unleashed 2,500 barrels of heavy fuel into a fragile ecosystem, coating thousands of local seabirds in oil. This puts many of them — particularly the mind-meltingly adorable Little Blue Penguin — at serious risk of freezing and/or being poisoned to death. We know, we know. After today's news from Ohio, there's only so much animal suffering you can take. But you can actually help, particularly if you know how to knit.

A call put out by Grist.org asks for the world to send in penguin sweaters, which will keep them warm and prevent them from preening and swallowing the toxic oil on their feathers until workers can remove it. A decade ago, a similar incident in the region asked for "penguin jumpers," and many Little Blues have already been outfitted from whatever stockpiles were left over.

Interested? Of course you are! Here are patterns and instructions from Skeinz.com, Penguins.org, and Etsy. Get stitching. [The Daily What, Audubon Magazine, Photos via Grist, Etsy, Skeinz, The Yarn Kitchen]