Australia's Oldest Man Spends His Time Knitting Sweaters For Penguins

After he recently relocated to an assisted living facility, 108-year-old Alfred Date – the oldest man in Australia – found himself with extra time on his hands.

Last March, Date's nurses heard word of an oil spill off the coast of Australia that damaged the habitats of Phillip Island's little penguins, a breed specific to that area.

They put the elderly man's eight decades of knitting expertise to work.

Date, who describes himself as "a sucker" for the requests of others, took out his needles and began purling.

ABC reports Date began knitting countless heavy wool sweaters for the oil-coated birds, responding to the Penguin Foundation's request for help.

Although the sweaters are adorable, they also serve a very practical purpose: The knit pieces help the tiny birds stay warm and they keep them from ingesting the toxic oil while cleaning themselves.

The Penguin Foundation's Danene Jones told MSN they were all well aware Date had quite a few years under his belt but were surprised to learn he was actually the oldest person in the country.

She added,

It's amazing and we feel quite privileged to have him dedicating his time and effort to the Penguin Foundation.

And because the Penguin Foundation doesn't need more sweaters at the moment, now 109-year-old Date reportedly occupies himself with making blankets and hats for newborn babies and loved ones.

Citations: Check Out These Tiny Penguins in Tiny Sweaters (ABC)