A picture showing two widowed penguins comforting each other has bagged the Community Choice Award at Oceanographic magazine's Ocean Photography Awards 2020.
The photo in which the penguins appear to comfort one another while staring into the distance at Melbourne's St. Kilda Pier has gone viral on social media, winning hearts.
The well-captured shot was taken by Tobias Baumgaertner, a German award-winning videographer and photographer who shared it on his Instagram account as well. According to the caption of the image, the two penguins, who had recently lost their partners, were standing on a rock for hours, overlooking the Melbourne skyline.
There is a colony of approximately 1,400 fairy penguins, the smallest penguin species with an average height of just 13 inches, in St. Kilda Pier in Melbourne. "A volunteer approached me and told me that the white one was an elderly lady who had lost her partner and apparently so did the younger male to the left," Baumgaertner wrote on Instagram.
"Since then they meet regularly, comforting each other and standing together for hours watching the dancing lights of the nearby city," he added. The photographer further stated in his post that he spent three nights with the penguin colony before being able to capture the photo.
"Between not being able or allowed to use any lights and the tiny penguins continuously moving, rubbing their flippers on each other's backs and cleaning one another, it was really hard to get a shot but I got lucky during one beautiful moment. I hope you enjoy this moment as much as me did," Baumgaertner wrote.
Spellbound by the capture, netizens took over the comment section to express how awestruck they were looking at the photo.
One Instagram user wrote, "Thanks to the volunteers! Whoever they are. They are the ones who observed the behaviors of these penguins regularly".
Another netizen wrote, "look at these penguins giving each other a hug looking at the lights".