Thursday, October 20, 2011
Penquins in need
Did you see this on Good Morning America?
Blue penguins in New Zealand have been soaked with oil after a container ship ran aground near the east coast of the country's North Island earlier this month. New Zealand’s Environment Minister Nick Smith has described the oil spill as the nation’s most significant maritime environmental disaster.
On Oct. 5, a cargo ship ran aground in New Zealand, pouring 350 tons of oil into the ocean. The accident has been regarded as the country’s worst environmental disaster in decades.
More than 1,000 sea birds have already died as a result of the spill, including birds from the country’s native blue penguin population.
Oil can be extremely harmful to penguins, whose feathers are very different from other birds. They have very dense and tiny feathers of different lengths that stick onto them like Velcro, creating a waterproof pseudo-wetsuit.
“Basically, when you get even a drop of oil on these birds, it opens up a channel so water can penetrate,” Kevin McGowan of the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology told ABCNews.com. “It’s like a hole in their wetsuit.”
Skeinz has been asked to help with the penguin relief by knitting small Penguin PJ’s to help protect the birds & prevent them from preening their feather & ingesting the toxic oil. If you can help out by knitting a penguin jumper – see the link for instructions in the next paragraph.
Here is the link to Skeins web site for info and instructions to make a sweater for one of these penguins who need help.