When something is abruptly and unexpectedly taken away from you, even if just for a short time, it’s always simpler to appreciate it than when you have it. Consequently, it’s not surprising that most of us are seeking human consolation at an unprecedented level and are discovering ways to have positive social interactions while adhering to social distance standards.

It would appear, though, that creatures other than humans are also turning to one another for solace in times of distress. While looking out at the Melbourne skyline, photographer Tobias Baumgaertner snapped a picture that will last a lifetime: two penguins, one of whom had recently lost a spouse, embracing and comforting the other.

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“The fortunate few will be able to spend this difficult time with those they care about the most. Nearly twelve months ago, I managed to snap this photo. Standing there, flipper in flipper, for hours, these two fairy penguins watched the dazzling lights of the Melbourne skyline and ocean from a rock overlooking the cityscape. The white one, an elderly penguin woman who had evidently lost her partner, and the younger man to his left had too. According to a volunteer who approached me, were both bereaved. After that, they started going to one other’s houses on a regular basis to cry and stand for hours to watch the lights of the neighbouring city dance. I stayed with this penguin colony for three nights straight to acquire this shot. It was incredibly difficult to get a good image because we couldn’t use any lighting and the little penguins were constantly on the move, cleaning each other, and rubbing their flippers against each other. However, I was fortunate enough to capture a really lovely moment. Taking this moment in is something I really enjoyed, too,” Tobias posted on Instagram.

What made this couple unique among the colony was the genuine care they were giving to one another. As the rest of the penguins dozed off or raced about, those two were content to simply stand there, clutching each other’s flippers and chatting about penguin stuff.

Their shared experience of pain has brought them together; I suppose love may strike at the most unexpected moments. Paradise is attained when another person loves you back; it is a privilege to love someone deeply, the photographer added.

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