Physical touch can be a great comfort in times of sorrow, and not just for humans. Animals also find solace in empathy and physical contact, and one photographer captured a special moment between two penguins in Australia.

Photographer Tobias Baumgaertner has made waves for his heartwarming photograph of two penguins standing, one of their “arms” around the other, as they looked out to the Melbourne skyline.

“During times like this the truly lucky ones are those that can be with the person/people they love most. 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. I spend 3 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.

Unsurprisingly, the photo has been touching hearts around the world, and Tobias shared another photo of the sweet pair.

Pinguins Part 2. “… Love is the only game in which we win even when we lose”
The way that these two lovebirds were caring for one another stood out from the entire colony. While all the other penguins were sleeping or running around, those two seemed to just stand there and enjoy every second they had together, holding each other in their flippers and talking about penguin stuff.
Pain has brought them together (see PART 1). I guess sometimes you find love when you least expect it. It’s a privilege to truly love someone, paradisiacal when they love you back.”

The photos are a beautiful reminder of all the kindness and love that can be found in the world between all living creatures even in the darkest of times.

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