A picture of two little penguins cuddling as the lights of Melbourne's CBD twinkle in the background has won a top photography award.
German photographer Tobias Baumgaertner's image, taken at St Kilda in 2019, took out the community prize for Oceanographic magazine's Ocean Photograph Awards.
German photographer Tobias Baumgaertner's said
“I am a dreamer,... I believe that it is important to have dreams as they make life worth living and give love meaning. I previously shared these penguin images to spread love because that, I believed, is what the world needed most right now. It was never intended to be scientifically accurate as it was quite obviously romanticized by adding my personal feelings of being separated from and longing for the one I can’t live without. I wrote these words from the bottom of my heart and never expected so many people to connect with them. Like with anything else in life too much of one thing has the potential to become dangerous and while we don’t know what goes on in these little penguins I’ve been advised by the scientific community that anthropomorphizing animals can have a negative influence on them as it “can... lead to inappropriate behaviors towards wild animals”. This is especially the case for animals living in such close proximity to the city as they are already dealing with various challenges. I have further been adviced that these two could be related, ...the exact relation of these two is at this point probably hard to figure out but i am happy to hear that if they are not friends then they might at least be family.
Either way I believe that this was a truly beautiful and magical moment that spread so much love around the world. I also believe that humans protect what they can connect with and it acts as a reminder that we share this beautiful world with many other beings which come in various shapes and sizes, degrees of fluffiness and colors as well as with specific needs crucial for their survival. It presents us with just one of many reasons why we should protect the ones with no voice to stand up for themselves and most importantly it has shown us that if we care and come together we could change the world...