Story at a glance

  • Belgian wildlife photographer Yves Adams snapped the photos of the penguin in December 2019.
  • “I’d never seen or heard of a yellow penguin before,” Adams told Kennedy News.
  • The photographer told the news outlet the penguin’s unique color is due to a condition called leucism, which results in the partial loss of pigmentation in an animal.

A rare yellow and white penguin has been captured on camera for what is believed to be the first time ever. 

Belgian wildlife photographer Yves Adams shared photos of what he claims is a “never before seen” yellow penguin that were taken during a two-month photo exhibition in the South Atlantic in December 2019. After sifting through thousands of photos, the photographer finally found and edited those of the yellow penguin and shared the images of the animal on Instagram this week. 


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The canary-yellow penguin was spotted on an island in South Georgia among a colony of 120,000 king penguins. Adams said all the penguins looked the same, with the exception of the yellow bird. 

“I’d never seen or heard of a yellow penguin before,” Adams told Kennedy News. “There were 120,000 birds on that beach and this was the only yellow one there.” 

“It was heaven that he landed by us. If it had been 50 meters away we wouldn’t have been able to get this show of a lifetime,” he said. 

The photographer told the news outlet the penguin’s unique color is due to a condition called leucism, which results in the partial loss of pigmentation in an animal. In the areas where an ordinary king penguin has black feathers, the rare bird appeared to have yellow and cream colored feathers. 


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Published on Feb 19, 2021