Wildlife photographer captures a ‘never before seen’ yellow penguin

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If there is a certain thing about wildlife is that it never cease to amaze us. And what can be more fascinating than a “never before seen” yellow penguin. I know it sounds more like a Disney story, but it is as real as breathing and these fascinating photos speak for themselves

Yves Adams

The extremely rare penguin was spotted by the wildlife photographer Yves Adams on South Georgia. The 49-year-old Belgian photographer was a on two months expedition in Antartica when witnessed the once-in-a-lifetime sight. During the tour, Adams and his guests were supposed to make a stop at Salisbury Plain in South Georgia in order to take some photos of the 120,000 king penguins colony that lives there. But soon as they landed, the wildlife photographer spotted the unusual penguin, so he rushed to grab his camera and take as many photos as possible of the rare creature.

“How lucky could I be!”

Yves Adams/Kennedy News

“I’d never seen or heard of a yellow penguin before,” the Belgian shared with Kennedy News. “There were 120,000 birds on that beach and this was the only yellow one there. I’d been dreaming of going to South Georgia for 30 years since I saw my first David Attenborough documentary and I saw these penguins.

Yves Adams

“It was certainly worth it, even before we saw this yellow penguin. It was awe inspiring to see thousands of these birds on a rock in the middle of this massive, wild ocean.”


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Adams claims that the penguin’s rare colour is actually a genetic condition called leucism. Unlikely albinism, characterized by red or blue eyes and pure white skin, leucism results in the partial loss of color from an animal’s skin, hair, or scales, but not in other organs like the eyes, for instance.

The studies estimate that leucism may occur in 1 in 20,000 ro 146,000 penguins. Animals with such rare condition are usually rejected by their groups and they are also an easy target in front of the predators due to their lack of natural camouflage. As about this unique yellow penguin it turns out he got accepted by the colony despite its rare condition.

A few years ago another rare penguin was discovered in Antarctica. Back then it was a blonde penguin that kept the headlines. Speaking on the subject, Dee Boersma, a penguin expert with the University of Washington in Seattle, said: “Many species of penguins have a few rare individuals with this color pattern. Scientists have observed several species of penguins and the effect of isabellinism on penguins, and have found that gentoo penguins found throughout the Antarctic Peninsula often record the most cases.”

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