The hardest part of becoming independent is leaving home.
The Emperor penguin chicks are about to take the biggest step in their young lives.
Left alone by their once doting parents,
they must leave their icy birth place.
And make their way to the sea.
Every test they face,
hone skills they will need later in life.
But one challenge stops them in their tracks,
the giant petrel.
They tried to flee,
but running isn’t the Emperor’s strong point.
A slip is all the petrel needs.
The chick is grabed by his neck feathers,
but the dough just falls away.
They form a defensive circle,
and prepare to stand their ground.
Despite their chick-like appearance,
they are close to a meter tall,
quite a size, even for the giant petrel.
The chick towers to full height,
protecting those behind.
His defense buys time.
It’s a standoff.
Then, as it from nowhere,
an Adelie, the feistiest penguin in the world,
He fearlessly put himself between the chicks and the petrel.
Even petrels don’t mass with Adelies.
Their plucky rescuer accompanies the chicks to the sea.
Emperor cam is there, to see them on their way.
But entering the water is a don’t prospect.
Having an adult to run must be reassuring,
even if he is a spy.
The Adelie seems to be waiting for something too.
Another penguin cam is also ready to see them go.
Instead, other penguins stop to arrive.
More Adelies, their rescuer was just the fun partner.