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A yellow penguin, never seen before, was discovered by a photographer

A wildlife photographer has captured images of a ‘never seen’ yellow penguin he believes on a tour in South Georgia.

Yves Adams said he spotted the unusual-looking king penguin with its bright yellow plumage – instead of the usual black ones – while leading a two-month photographic expedition across Antarctica and the South Atlantic.

The youngster can be seen lounging on the surf and showing off its almost tropical plumage while standing next to a common black and white penguin.

A wildlife photographer has captured ‘unprecedented’ images of yellow penguins in South Georgia during a two-month photographic expedition across Antarctica and the South Atlantic

While Yves unpacked the safety gear, a group of normally monochrome birds swam towards the shore, but an unusual one caught his attention. Noticing the youngster’s bright plumage, Yves quickly grabbed his camera and snapped these images of the ‘never seen before’ yellow penguin

After the tour stopped at the wild islands of South Georgia, the 43-year-old photographer and his guests landed in Salisbury Plain to photograph their colony of more than 120,000 king penguins.

While Yves unpacked the safety gear, a group of normally monochrome birds swam towards the shore, but an unusual one caught his attention.

Noticing the boy’s bright plumage, Yves quickly grabbed his camera and snapped these images of the ‘never seen’ yellow penguin.

After the tour stopped at the wild islands of South Georgia, the 43-year-old photographer and his guests landed on the Salisbury Plains to photograph their colony of more than 120,000 king penguins

Yves, from Ghent, Belgium, said: “I’ve never seen or heard of a yellow penguin before. There are 120,000 birds on that beach, and this is the only yellow one there.

“They all looked normal except this one. It really was something else. It was a unique experience.

The photographer confirmed that the penguins’ quasi-tropical plumage was caused by leucism, a mutation that prevents any melanin from being produced in the feathers, causing white, pale or patchy colouration in an animal.

The degree of leucism can range from just a few feathers to the entire plumage, from a ‘melanistic’ penguin whose white parts are normally black to an ‘albino’ penguin that lacks both melanins and is completely white.

Penguin expert P. Dee Boersma of the University of Washington in Seattle told National Geographic.

Yves’ tour with Quark Expeditions in December 2019 extended for another eight weeks, leaving him with thousands of photos to peruse, which has meant he’s only just released these.

He said: ‘I’ve been dreaming of South Georgia for 30 years since I saw the first David Attenborough documentary, and I’ve seen these penguins.

‘It was definitely worth it, even before we saw this yellow penguin. It is amazing to see thousands of these birds on a rock in the middle of this vast wild ocean.

‘It’s the heaven he landed by us. If we were 50 meters away, we wouldn’t be able to get the show of a lifetime,’ added the photographer.

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