Coochie-cooing for oilspills

Published: Monday 31 December 2001

After a 1995 oil tanker spill at the mouth of Tasmania's Tamar river poisoned a colony of little penguins, the Tasmanian Conservation Trust swore the birds would never again be defenceless. It has now unveiled their unconventional armoury: a stockpile of stylish sweaters, knitted by volunteers worldwide. In an emergency, rescue workers plan to clothe contaminated birds in the woolly jumpers to prevent them from ingesting the oil. Rescue penguins often die from oil poisoning before workers can decontaminate them. Once the penguins are cleaned and released, the sweaters will be discarded (Discover, Vol 22, No 11, November 2001).

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