Photo Credits: Sarah Croft via Caters News Agency
When a lost, wandering penguin encountered a herd of horses in the Falkland Islands, a very unlikely friendship was said to have developed. The horses took in the lonely penguin as one of their own, even snuggling up with the adorable bird and playfully chasing after it as it stretched out its wings and waddled along the frosty turf.
The especially heart-warming photos were taken at Cape Pembrokeshire Nature Reserve near the capital city of Stanley by Sarah Croft, an officer from Falklands Conservation.
Croft told The Dodo that she had just finished feeding the herd when their ears suddenly perked up as the penguin approached, noting, “He caught all of their attention. From afar, the horses were just curious, but then the penguin got closer and some of the horses came in for a closer look. They’ve never seen a King penguin before, so I think they were quite fascinated with what it was.”
Croft further explained to the Daily Mail, “Horses in Stanley don’t normally have contact with penguin so it must have been a real novelty for them. At first the herd approached the penguin slowly and with their heads low so they could check him out at eye level.
“But it didn’t take long for the horses to become braver and soon they were nose to beak, it was such a lovely moment.
“The horses were genuinely curious about the penguin and it seemed to turn into a game for them where they’d check him out one by one and then run off. After a while it was as if the horses didn’t want to let the penguins out of their sights,” she added.
The Falklands is one of the great penguin capitals on earth. There are five penguin species on the islands, including king, rockhopper, magellanic, gentoo and macaroni penguins.