This 109-year old man knits sweaters for penguins!

What a kind man! And he is the oldest person in Australia too.

Being Australia’s oldest person hasn’t slowed down Alfie Date, who launched a knitting mission just twelve hours after arriving at his new retirement home to provide jumpers for penguins in need.

Alfred ‘Alfie’ Date is 109 years old, and began knitting in 1932 when his sister-in-law taught him how to knit a jumper for his newborn nephew.

Now, Alfie is putting his generous and still-nimble fingers to good use, creating tiny clothes for Phillip Island Penguins who needed woolen jumpers in the wake of an oil spill which prevented the creatures from staying dry, 9Stories reported.


The penguins can be poisoned if they attempted to lick the oil off their feathers. So these knitted jumpers really help.


The Phillip Island Penguin Foundation officially labelled Alfie their ‘most senior little penguin jumper knitter’, but wasn’t aware when he started contributing that he was also the oldest person in Australia.

Danene Jones, spokesperson for the Foundation, said that they were privileged to have Alfie aiding their efforts.

With the contributions sent in from around the world, the Foundation has received enough jumpers for the penguins, and said that the response had been overwhelming.

Read more:

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Here’s more from snopes: It says that these knitted sweaters may help temporarily and are not for long term rehabilitation.  The bottom line is (and this is common sense, of course), animals do not need clothes unless there is a specific purpose.

An excerpt:

The blog of the International Bird Rescue organization similarly states that sweaters “are not considered a useful tool for the rehabilitation of oiled birds, primarily penguins”:

To help the birds stay warm and limit the amount of preening, we only have to do one thing — house birds in a warm, ventilated area. When birds are warm, they reduce their preening because they’re comfortable. When they’re cold, they’re stimulated to preen in an attempt to correct the loss of body heat. Our research and experience over the course of hundreds of spills has shown us that when we keep them warm while they are still oiled, birds do well.There’s also another hazard to the sweater concept: Any handling or wearing of anything foreign to them contributes to the penguins’ stress. Reducing stress is our biggest challenge in an oil spill. Sweaters can be cumbersome, and require a secure fit to ensure that the bird will not become entangled. When birds are kept in warm rooms without sweaters, their stress is reduced, because they do not need to be monitored or handled.In the Treasure oil spill in 2000 in Cape Town, South Africa, International Bird Rescue worked with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) to rehabilitate over 20,000 oiled African Penguins; we successfully released 95% of them. In every oil spill where we have cared for penguins, International Bird Rescue has had at least an 80% release rate, and none of these birds wore sweaters.

Our colleagues from around the world agree that penguin sweaters are adorable and offer an avenue for concerned people to contribute, but they are not considered a useful tool for the rehabilitation of oiled birds, primarily penguins.



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