Experts believe the yellow penguin won’t survive long, being an easy target for both leopard seals and orca whales
Text and drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt
On an expedition to the island of South Georgia ( Antarctica ) the Belgian photographer Yves Adams ( See Drawn journalism story) took photos of a rare yellow variant of the King penguin ( Aptenodytes patagonicus ) never photographed before – and now experts discus what the strange yellow variant can have be caused by.
The yellow King penguin does have some color, so it is not an albino. But still something went wrong, as the melanin that color the other black and yellow penguins seems to be missing more or less here.
Allison Schultz, curator of ornithology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles tells in a story in Audubon National Society, that she thinks the yellow King penguin has what is called ” leucism” (Vikipedia link ) A condition where the melanin color production not is absent, but not functioning 100% either.
To know for sure it would be needed to capture the penguin, an extremely hard thing to do as it fast disappeared among thousand of other penguins on the remote island.
And experts fear it might soon loose its life, as its colors will make it stand out as an easy targets for some of the main predators of King penguins: Orca whales and Leopard seals.
Related story – Sketch of the situation where Yves Adams photographed the yellow king penguin here
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Keywords: biodiversity, nature, wildlife, penguins, birds, drawnjournalism, visual journalism, watercolor, drawing, news, journalistik, tegnetjournalistik, visuel journalistik, visualjournalism drawn journalism