Penguins in Antarctica are famously unafraid of humans and yet, when Joel Oleson came visiting, he could not have hoped to strike such a close friendship with a baby penguin.
Oleson, a SharePoint expert for Microsoft from California, was on a private tour to Antarctica when he had an intimate meeting with a penguin chick. One day during his tour, a guide took him to a large penguin rookery where thousands of penguins gather along a rocky beach. Oleson says:
Our guide explained that we should not approach the wildlife, but that if they approached us that was OK. He said, the smaller you appear to them, the less intimidating you’ll be.
So he said it was better to kneel or bend down. I thought if that was the case, then my best case would simply to be to lay down to make myself very small. As I lay there, the baby penguins became curious.
Oleson filmed the encounter and the the footage shows a baby penguin approaching him and starting to peck at his head and face. The chick clambers over the human’s neck and seems completely unfazed as its wing rests on Oleson’s face.
The chick moves about, gently nuzzling the human, before sliding back onto the beach to resume pecking at his hat.
1. Joel Oleson, 41 from California was on a private chartered tour to Antarctica when he met a new furry friend.
2. Oleson is a SharePoint expert for Microsoft and was speaking at a series of technical conferences in South America.
3. The penguin clambers over his neck and appears completely unfazed as his wing rests over his face.
As they approached me, I was thinking I need to be very still so I don’t scare them. They were so cute with the way they walk with their little wings held back as they waddled. As one approached my head and started pecking around I wondering how sharp their beak was.
At one point a baby penguin was pecking my forehead and face. I was filled with feelings of wonder and awe.
The technology expert added that the adult penguins kept their distance, but the chicks were more curious and he didn’t feel any hostile or agitation, such as hissing or loud chattering.
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