In light of the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of people have had a chance to reevaluate their lives and the people around them. After all, it’s always somehow easier to appreciate things when they are suddenly taken away from you, even if it’s temporary, rather than appreciate them while you still have them. Therefore, it’s no surprise most of us seek human comfort now more than ever before and are finding ways to have wholesome social experiences even while following the rules of social distancing.

But it seems that not only humans are seeking comfort in each other’s arms during hard times. Photographer Tobias Baumgaertner captured a once-in-a-lifetime shot of two widowed penguins hugging and comforting each other while gazing out at the Melbourne skyline.

“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. 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. I spent 3 full nights with this penguin colony until I was able to get this picture. 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,” wrote Tobias on Instagram.

“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 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 also said.

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