Unique yellow penguin captures the hearts of the internet

Written on 02/25/2021

By Ciarán Mather

Is it a bird? Yes. Is it a canary? No - it's actually a yellow penguin!

The adorable bird was spotted on a small island known as South Georgia island in Antarctica.

Photographs of the extremely rare yellow king penguin were first taken in 2019 by a Belgian man named Yves Adams.

However, it was only after sifting through thousands of photographs taken over the course of a two-month expedition that Adams finally found the photograph of the particularly rare bird.

Sharing the beautiful photos on Instagram, Mr. Adams said: 'Winning nature’s lottery with seeing the most beautiful King penguin and being able to take pictures!' 

'While unpacking our rubber-boats merely after landing on a remote beach on the island of South-Georgia, this leucitic King penguin walked up straight to our direction in the middle of a chaos full of Sea elephants and Antarctic fur seals, and thousands of other King penguins. How lucky could I be!'

He added: 'Yesterday the press picked up these pictures, and the phone hasn’t stopped ringing since then... It seems we are in desperate need for some mellow yellow news!'

P. Dee Boersma, a conservation biologist at the University of Washington and a National Geographic Explorer, also chimed in on the pictures of the stunning king penguin, where she explained to National Geographic that the reason behind its unique colouring is likely to leucism: a genetic mutation in which an animal is mostly white but can produce some pigment.

Others online were understandably wowed by the yellow king penguin:

Just when we think nothing can surprise us anymore, trust nature to pull the rug from under our feet!