Jumpers and blankets are being knitted by volunteers for animals living in cold conditions.
It seems knitting for nature has become a new trend for crafty volunteers. At the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, baby rhinos have been receiving blankets to help keep them warm by aiding the regulation of body temperature. They help to keep any wounds clean and ward off infection. And the blankets also give them a sense of security. Like most babies, young rhinos like to feel secure, and wrapping them in blankets helps them to feel safer and more comfortable.
Credit: Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage
A Facebook group called Blankets for Baby Rhinos started the appeal, encouraging others to donate or create blankets for the orphanage. The group now has almost 2,000 members, and donations from across the globe are being made to ensure a comfortable rehabilitation for the orphan rhinos. With numbers of wild rhinos dropping in recent years, mostly as a result of illegal poaching, the orphans that are rehabilitated and released by Thula Thula are helping to re-establish a stronghold for this magnificent species. Are you an avid knitter? Got some spare time on your hands? Don’t feel like finishing off that scarf? Then send over what you can spare to this great cause. You can join the orphanage’s Facebook group, or make a donation to them here.
Perhaps you feel that knitting a blanket for a baby rhino is too much of a big task? Never fear, knitters. You can still help out some vulnerable animals without investing quite so much time or material. Knitted jumpers for chickens are now a thing.
Barbara Widmayer, 76, told the Associated Press that never in her “wildest dreams” had she though that “anybody made sweaters for chickens”. Well, now that wild dream is a reality. Retirees in Boston, US have been knitting jumpers for the local fowl, who struggle through the cold conditions of the New England winter. The nippy weather has a substantial impact on egg production, and can leave chickens feeling a little under the weather. Boston’s local chickens are now nice and toasty – and looking very stylish – thanks to the knitting efforts of these volunteers. You can watch the positive impact of their knitting on their fowl friends here.
Know any chilly chickens near you? If you want to get involved in helping your local farm friends look and feel great this winter, check out this list of chicken jumper patterns. Yes, they really exist.