Penguins can often be seen huddling in large groups—not only does this behavior help them keep warm, but it also helps to protect them from predators. They are also fast swimmers. Their bodies have evolved with a streamlined design that allows them to travel quickly underwater. Although they are classified as birds, penguins can’t fly.
One of the predators penguins must protect themselves against is the killer whale. Orcas feed on different types of prey like fish, seals, and of course, penguins. In this video, several orcas can be seen swimming near a group of people in a boat.
In the background, you can see a large glacier. Suddenly, there is a small, unusual creature bouncing in and out of the water. The footage is a bit blurry to be fair, so it may take you a second to make out what’s going on.
However, if you’re already familiar with the way penguins swim, you’ll spot it easily. Penguins don’t stay underwater when swimming—their paddle-like flippers are used like wings, which allows them to “fly” through the water, diving under and flying up before diving down again.
The orcas in the video have spotted the penguin and begin to circle it. The penguin changes direction, heading straight for the boat.
“Come on, boy!” says one of the men in the background. You can hear several sympathetic groans as they look on, unsure if they’re about the witness the mesmerizing yet cruel realities of life in the wild.
The orcas are in close pursuit of the penguin, also ducking below and above the water. Knowing its life is in danger, the penguin’s survival instincts are turned all the way up. You can see how fast it moves, darting left then right as the orcas try to close on it.
It’s much like a high-speed police chase you can sometimes catch live on television. The orcas are unrelenting, and the penguin is speeding in all different directions, trying to get away.
Finally, the penguin decides the boat full of friendly people is its best escape. It leaps onto the boat, much to the surprise of the occupants, and takes a breather. As if obeying some unspoken agreement, the orcas immediately stop their pursuit.
The next few scenes show the occupants of the boat along with the penguin that has made these strangers its temporary friends. Although their prey is just feet away, the orcas breach a few times but don’t display any aggression toward the boat, the penguin, or the occupants.
Although this is a day the orcas will want to forget, it’s sure to be a memorable one for both the humans and that lucky penguin!
Up next, more killer whales!
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