Why do we love penguins?

I really have no answer to this query. It appears everyone cashes in on penguins sometime or the other. They feature either as sidekicks (as when they captained a ship in the animation flick ‘Madagascar’) or as protagonists (in ‘Happy feet’) or individualists, like Pingu (a Swiss stop-motion claymated television series created by Otmar Gutmann). Now the penguins you see in real life are, well, as good as the animated ones. What with their clear cut silhouettes and well define graphic colours. And yes, their rather jocose personalities (as per our restricted perceptions) make them endearing to us humans.

So along the Cape route, we had to spend the mandatory hour viewing penguins on Boulder’s beach. Which as the name suggests is indeed made of inlets between granite boulders that are reputed to be many millions of years old.

These Unombombiya (which is a Xhosa word for these anchovy and pilchard eating African penguins that I can pronounce as opposed to Brilpikkewyn in Afrikaans, that I can’t), are banded penguins less than a metre tall and impress you with their casual sauntering, or indolent laying around, just like every other penguin. So you see, there’s nothing very special about them until you realise that in 1982 there were two breeding pairs at Boulder’s beach and now there are over 3000. Now that is impressive. So there they are, cosseted and protected and left to their own devices. And I suppose, that’s how it should be.

So enjoy these candid shots of penguins going about their daily business.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. naman singh says:

    after reading this article, i strongly wish to be reborn as a penguin, preferably as one of the sidekick character of Madagascar.. if something like that does exist!

    1. Yeah, their captain was an intellectual. I still love the ‘smile and wave boys’ instructions.

  2. You said it Noel. They are beautiful indeed.

  3. could it simply be that penguins are beautiful and yet so vulnerable?

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