Knit and Natter - 18/01/2020 10:00

Posted on January 13, 2020

The Isle of Wight Zoo is hosting a Knit and Natter day so staff and public can make surrogate Joey pouches for infant wallabies, kangaroos and other marsupials that have lost their mothers in the tragic Australian bushfires.

With reports of over one billion animals now having been killed by the fires, there is an overwhelming number of young marsupials without their mother’s pouch which is needed for them to grow. Animal rescue organisations are relying on hand-crafted substitutes from donors for all kinds of marsupial orphans which include wallabies, kangaroos, koalas, opossums and wombats. Other injured animals such as flying foxes can use them for recovery also.

“We’ve all been stunned by Australia’s plight and the devastation of so much wildlife”, says zookeeper Kerry who looks after the zoo’s own family of 5 wallabies. “It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless to help from here on the island but when we heard the call for knitted pouches we just had to get staff and public involved. It’s such a practical and simple way to make a real difference.”

The Knit and Natter session will take place from 10am on Saturday 18th January in the zoo’s Wildheart Café overlooking Sandown seafront. It is open to anyone wishing to bring along their needles and wool to help and there will be a special but simple pattern provided. There is also a handy yarn weight conversion guide here.

Those that prefer sewing to knitting are welcome to come along with their fabric and sewing machines.

Parking will be free for participants and there will be cups of tea provided as well.

Anyone who cannot attend but would still like to make one or more pouches can hand in or post donor pouches to the zoo which is also operating as a collection and dispatch hub for the Animal Rescue Craft Guild. The pattern to follow can be found on their facebook page:

Others who may wish to support the cause but are unable to make items could help in other ways - we are accepting donations of 8-ply wool that will be distributed to volunteer knitters or you could just come down and support or learn!

Spread the word! See you here :-)

For more information on the bushfires - please see our previous post.