Hero: Australia’s Oldest Man Knits Sweaters for Penguins in Need

Feb 11, 2015 at 3:37 pm |

Alfred “Alfie” Date is Australia’s oldest man. And how does the 109-year-old spend his remaining days? Why knitting sweaters for little penguins of course!

The penguins are survivors of an oil spill, however, they needed a lot of help if they wanted to live. In 2013, the Victoria’s Phillip Island Penguin Foundation requested that sweaters, also known as jumpers, be donated to help the penguin’s live.

According to Mashable, in regards to the jumpers, “the foundation says this ‘is not a fashion statement’ but instead they help the little creatures if they are affected by an oil spill. Oil can make their feathers stick together, allowing water to get to their inner layers. This causes the little penguins to get cold and not be able to hunt due to heaviness.”

Alfie, who has 80 years of knitting experience, saw that the penguins were in need and unselfishly has dedicated all of his time to helping the little guys. 

These species of penguin in need are only found in southern Australia and New Zealand, but do not think that there aren’t many of them. Just their colony on Phillip Island consists of 32,000 penguins.

Alfie spoke to Nine News and described his inability to say “no” to people, and animals, in need. The life saver also talked statistics saying, “In 2001, 438 penguins were affected in an oil spill at Phillip Island and by using the knitted outfits, 96% of the penguins were rehabilitated at the clinic, according to the foundation’s website.”

Thanks, Alfie. And keep up the cute work.

Aren’t these the cutest little penguins you’ve ever seen? Read how they survived an oil spill!