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Australia's Oldest Man Knits Little Jumpers For Penguins

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When the Penguin Foundation requested assistance from knitters to contribute their time and effort to make woolen jumpers for little penguins affected by an oil spill in Philip Island, Australia, many generous knitters from around the world responded.

Oil makes feathers stick together which allows water to get in penguin’s inner layer. This causes the penguins to get cold, stressed, and affect their ability to hunt.

According to a report of Ninemsn, “The jumper rehabilitation method was proved in 2001 when 438 little penguins were covered in oil following a spill near Phillip Island. The jumpers ensured 96 percent of the marine birds were successfully returned to the wild.”

"We are incredibly grateful for the donations we have received and the time and effort creating them”, the foundation’s Lauren Jones said.

But one man caught the attention of the foundation: Alfred 'Alfie' Date, the oldest person in Australia and most likely the oldest knitter around the world.

Without hesitation, the 109-year old knitter who lives in a home for the aged in New South Wales Central Coast agreed to contribute his time and talent when his two nurses learned of his skills and asked him to make little jumpers for penguins.

Alfie’s 80 years of experience as a knitter started in 1930’s when he made a jumper for his nephew after his sister-in-law handed him a pair of knitting needles and some wool.

Despite his age, he still knits for scarfs for his friends and little beanies for premature babies.

 video: Inside Edition/YouTube 

sources: Ninemsn.comPenguin Foundation