When I was 15 years old the ship “MV Treasure” sank off the coast of South Africa. It was transporting iron ore from China to Brazil and had an estimated 1300 tonnes of fuel oil on board. Some of this oil spilled into the ocean, devastating the local marine life.
Of particular concern was the African penguin (or jackass penguin because it makes a noise like a donkey) population. This species is endangered and endemic to the region. The incident was dubbed the worst environmental disaster that South Africa had ever experienced.
A massive clean up effort ensued, with thousands of volunteers (a whopping 45 000). SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) led the clean up with support from International organisations such as IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) and IBRRC (International Bird Rescue Centre).
The clean up was only accepting volunteers who were 16 years or older. But, my wonderful Biology teacher snuck me and a few friends into the clean up efforts. What an experience it was!
We spent time cleaning the penguins with toothbrushes, unloading tonnes and tonnes of fish for feed and assisting in whatever way we could. It was physical and stinky work. So, so stinky. Would you believe that we were given fish paste sandwiches for lunch after unpacking a ton of smelly fish! Not very appetising thank you very much. Fortunately we weren’t there for the food.
The rehabilitation process took 12 weeks. In total, the rehab centre took in more than 20 000 oiled African penguins and 90% of these birds were successfully rehabilitated and released. An additional 19 000 non-oiled birds were also successfully relocated.
Playful penguin crochet pattern
SANCCOB is an internationally recognised leader in oiled wildlife response, rehabilitation and chick-rearing. They are on the ground educating people and doing what they can to fix the environment that us consumer-driven humans so badly damage. In the spirit of the Endangered Animal Crochet Project, hosted by Crochet Concupiscence, I wanted to do something to give back to an organisation that has worked so tirelessly for so many years.
I’m thrilled to release my Playful Penguin pattern (available at all of my online shops) where $1 from every crochet penguin pattern sale will be donated to SANCCOB. Even if you don’t purchase a pattern, please still consider donating to this very worthy cause! For less than $50 you can ‘adopt a penguin’. This covers all the costs for rehabilitation and release back into the wild.
This delightful penguin crochet pattern makes an ideal gift for any baby, as the penguin rattles when you shake it. This pattern also plays nicely with the cheeky monkey rattle and cheeky monkey curtain tie back. If you are new to crocheting amigurumi then make sure to check out my tips for crocheting amigurumi to ensure you have a lovely neat finish.
This pattern uses basic crochet techniques including crocheting in the round, single crochet, basic increasing and decreasing. The color changes for the head may look a little daunting if you haven’t done them before, so make sure to read through my color change tutorial before you start.
Yours in craft,