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Get ready because this picture will surely make your heart melt. A viral picture of two widowed penguins gazing into the distance together at St Kilda Pier, Melbourne, has won a prize at Oceanographic magazine's Ocean Photograph Awards 2020.
Photographer Tobias Baumgaertner won the Community Choice Awards for his moving photograph, which quickly went viral this year after he shared it on Instagram.
After making it into the shortlist of five photographs up for the Community Choice Award, with the winner decided by popular vote, Baumgaertner wrote last month: "It has been an honour to be selected as one of the 5 Images and I cannot express my gratitude towards everyone who has supported me and my penguin image up to this point!
"THANKS A MILLION, you guys are the best!"
The adorable snap was taken in 2019. Baumgaertner explained in the caption when he shared the image at the end of March, when people around the world were in lockdown as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, that the two penguins appeared to be comforting each other after losing their respective partners.
"During times like this the truly lucky ones are those that can be with the person/people they love most," he wrote. "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."
He continued: "I spent three 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."
They are so adorable!
Featured Image Credit: Tobias Baumgaertner/Instagram - @tobiasvisuals
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