Australian photographer Tobias Baumgaertner recently shared heartwarming pictures of two windowed penguins enjoying a scenic view together. The penguins are seen hugging and comforting one another while looking out towards Melbourne’s nighttime skyline.
Baumgaertner posted the sweet images to Instagram at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, writing:
“During times like this, the truly lucky ones are those that can be with the person/people they love most. I captured this moment about a year ago. These two Fairy penguins poised upon a rock overlooking the Melbourne skyline were standing there for hours, flipper in flipper, watching the sparkling lights of the skyline and ocean.”
He learned the touching backstory of the two aquatic birds from a volunteer at St Kilda Pier where the little penguins congregate for shelter after sunset. “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. Since then they meet regularly comforting each other and standing together for hours watching the dancing lights of the nearby city.”
It took him several days to capture the perfect photo. “I spent 3 full nights with this penguin colony until I was able to get this picture,” he revealed. Because the penguin colony is protected he had to be patient and not use any flash photography or spot lights.
“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 I did.”
He went on to share several other pictures of the special pair.
He noted that the way the “two lovebirds were caring for one another” stood out for him. “While all the other penguins were sleeping or running around, those two seemed to just stand there and enjoy every second they had together, holding each other by their flippers and talking about penguin stuff.”
“Pain has brought them together; I guess sometimes you find love when you least expect it. It’s a privilege to truly love someone, paradisiacal when they love you back,” the photographer added.
Over a year later, Baumgaertner’s photos of the two penguins has brought joy to millions of people around the world. He said recently, “I posted this image of these two Fairy penguins a little more than half a year ago and since then it has circled the globe, it has been seen by millions and I have received thousands of messages and comments of how these two little guys have touched and mended broken hearts, brought joy, hope and love into your lives. It has become a symbol of togetherness and love. Times are still not easy for many of us, thus I repeat what I wrote back then ‘During times like this the truly lucky ones are those that can be with the person/people they love most.'”