Beautiful Photograph Of Two Widowed Penguins Comforting Each Other Wins Prize At 2020 Ocean Photography Awards

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Beautiful Photograph Of Two Widowed Penguins Comforting Each Other Wins Prize At 2020 Ocean Photography Awards

Photo: Tobias Baumgaertner/2020 Ocean Photography Awards

A beautiful photograph of two widowed penguins overlooking a pier in Melbourne, Australia, has won the prestigious Community Choice Award at the 2020 Ocean Photography Awards. The photograph was taken by wildlife photographer Tobias Baumgaertner in 2019 and shows two penguins comforting each other and looking out over the water. The photograph gained widespread attention when it was shared online in the midst of the first-lockdown and came to represent a hope for a better future. The Community Choice Award is the only prize in the yearly awards ceremony where the winner is not chosen by judges but instead by a vote from the general public.

The German photographer was informed by wildlife experts who know the penguin colony well that the penguin on the right was an elderly female who lost her partner and the penguin on the left was a male who had also lost their partner. The experts said that both penguins now liked to sit beside each other watching out over the sea. It is even thought that the two penguins may even be related.

A post shared by Tobias Baumgaertner (@tobiasvisuals)

Baumgaertner said of his award-winning photograph:

"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, [so] 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."

He added:

"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. The way that these two lovebirds were caring for one another stood out from the entire colony. 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 in their flippers and talking about penguin stuff."

The Ocean Photography Awards are held annually and seek to not only showcase amazing images of wildlife from across the world, and the work of highly-talented photographers, but also seek to bring attention to the plight of many animals in the natural world facing threats from human action and habitat erosion.

A post shared by Tobias Baumgaertner (@tobiasvisuals)

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Thinking Humanity: Beautiful Photograph Of Two Widowed Penguins Comforting Each Other Wins Prize At 2020 Ocean Photography Awards
Beautiful Photograph Of Two Widowed Penguins Comforting Each Other Wins Prize At 2020 Ocean Photography Awards
A beautiful photograph of two widowed penguins overlooking a pier in Melbourne, Australia, has won the prestigious Community Choice Award at the 2020
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